15 years ago, Bridget Jones wormed her way into our hearts in the 2001 hit film, “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” We now get a 2016 update on our favorite heroine from this romantic comedy, based on the book series by Helen Fielding. We all fell in love with Bridget for defying the social norms of attaining a nuclear family, husband, career, and the fallacious standards women are expected to follow. Instead, Bridget is clumsy, charming and crass.
Not much has changed with Jones (Renee Zellweger) or the ambience of the film. We are welcomed with the amusing, but crestfallen Jones, who is celebrating her 43rd birthday , much to her disdain, alone in her London apartment. It raises many questions as to where her crew is. Time has treated them well,has proven to be well on them as Mrs. Jones (Gemma Jones) and Mr. Jones (Jim Broadbent), along with Jones’s close friends Jude (Shirley Henderson) and Tom (James Callis) all return to reprise their roles. Yet, there is a tangible absence of Hugh Grant, who did not reprise his role as Jones’s ex-boss and infamous love interest.
Though I loved that most of the original cast and crew returned (including director Sharon Maguire) I could not help but think: will this be one sequel that should have been left on the page? With the twelve year gap since the last film, Jones, after a couple of faults, is trying to find out who’s the father of her baby— a new love interest, Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey) or her ex, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). I have to admit I was impressed.
Jones is still the same Jones, offering self-deprecating commentary and sipping wine. To her delight she has not had a cigarette in almost three years. Though her mother still worries about her not being married and suggests she get artificially inseminated, Jones is finally at her goal weight and is a successful TV producer. The movie has witty banter and amusing jokes, and it did not disappoint even with the slight overuse of the word “hashtag.”
At an outdoor concert where she falls literally face first into the mud, she is rescued by Jack Qwant with the finesse of a Disney hero. Then to her reuniting awkwardly with Mr. Darcy, and accidently interviewing the driver of an general on live T.V. The audience is kept in the dark of who is the father of Bridget’s baby?
There was some spottiness in the flow of the story at times, as some of the editing felt abrupt and left scenes on a cliffhanger. Other situations that happened between “Edge of Reason” and now were hinted at, but left us leaving clueless to the outcome. The most memorable moment was the return of the infamous reindeer sweater, worn by Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary. We are graced with a flashback of the previous Jones’s films guaranteed to make you smile and go, Aww, like I did.
It was a wonderful and warm feeling to see Jones again and this movie will make you leave the theater with a smile on your face.
RATING: THREE OUT OF FIVE