Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.
Like many I was very happy but skeptical when I heard the news of a third entry in the Bridget Jones series. It had been 12 years since the last film, The Edge of Reason, which deviated severely from its source material in the worst way possible and Helen Fielding had put out an awful third book Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, which seemed to destroy everything I loved about the series.
First off: Bridget Jones's Baby is NOT an adaptation of Mad About the Boy, but its own zany creation. Second of all it's actually surprisingly good. Despite a 12 year gap Renee Zellweger slips into her Bridget persona flawlessly. She's able to anchor the film so that it still feels like a Bridget Jones film while introducing new characters like Jack Quant, a man Bridget instantly has a spark with at a music festival, and Sarah Solemani as Bridget's colleague and single friend, Miranda. Sharon Maguire (who directed the first Bridget film and was the inspiration for Shazzer), returns and seems able to get the best out of her cast.
The film sees Bridget, now turning 43, as a successful news producer who is still single and childless. Deciding to embrace her state as a single spinster she goes to a music festival where she meets a handsome man about her age, and sleeps with him. A little while later, when at her godchild's christening, she runs into Mark Darcy, new divorced from the wife he married after they split up, and as sparks fly, she sleeps with him too, only to remember in the morning all the reasons they split up as he never had time with her and was always focused on work. Soon after she discovers she's pregnant with the titular baby.
A huge part of the success of the film is down to the script which holds contributions from notorious wit Emma Thompson. It's really quite funny, but also has a lot of character bits so we believe in these characters and their decisions. The explanation for why Bridget and Darcy aren't together feels organic and real. Similarly the movie does a great job of showing who these characters would be 12 years on. Bridget has grown and figures out things in life while still keeping sense of humour and being a clumsy mess in certain situations. Rather than appearing haughty, Mark comes across as painfully shy, a careful man who now has many regrets from all the chances he didn't take.
It's a wonderful, sweet movie, and a wonderful end to the Bridget Jones series.
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