Bridget Jones’s Baby

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There are a handful of movies I haven’t seen that a lot of my friends love. One of them is Bridget Jones’s Diary. Since what I thought was the sequel (turns out it’s the third movie involving Bridget Jones) was coming out, my girlfriend figured it would be a good time to watch a movie she liked. It was one of the rare times we’ve disagreed on a film. Despite a few funny lines, I hated most of the unrealistic film that used lots of jokes that have been used in previous movies. This is along the same lines.

Jones is celebrating her 43rd birthday by herself, with a cupcake. She seems to have gotten her weight in check, and looks like a completely different person (although that might be due to the “work” that Renee Zellweger supposedly had). She cranks the stereo and jumps around her apartment to “Jump Around” (a song that I said last week in a review, needs to be retired from films already).

They quickly get to the premise. She’s pregnant, and the father could either be an American billionaire (Patrick Dempsey) or wealthy Brit Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). He’s the ex that…I could never figure out why she liked. He always acted like a stuffy sad-sack. And guess what? When they get the news, they don’t lawyer up. They don’t ask for paternity tests. They don’t scream, they don’t ask about whether she’s going to have the child, but…they both help her. They both hope they’re the father. Of course, she won’t get the test to see who the father is, or we wouldn’t have a movie. Also, this premise gives the audiences of lame “chick flick” films, the opportunity to pick sides, and root for a specific suitor they want to win Bridget’s love. Will anybody sit back and think — damn, that’s a rather cruel thing to do to two guys that are stepping up and trying to do the right thing.

A better script would’ve just had her keeping the two men apart, and jokes around how they’re being duped. Instead, we have to endure idiotic scenes that have both of them showing up at lamaze classes pretending to be a gay couple.

Another attempt at humor that doesn’t work, is Jones at work. Her character, who was ditzy in the first movie, is now supposedly running the news department as a producer. When new, hipper bosses come in and want stories that will trend better than hard hitting news (think cats that look like Hitler), you think that has possibilities. It doesn’t. Nothing about those scenes are remotely like a newsroom. Especially the fact that when Jones is on the phone having a conversation, the reporter on the air thinks the questions she’s asking the guy on the phone, are questions she’s supposed to ask the guest. At that point — wouldn’t both these people be fired for incompetence? Come on. A scene like that can work in Anchorman, because that’s just a crazy comedy, where we laugh at Will Ferrell blindly reading anything on the teleprompter.

Also, somebody needs to tell filmmakers that reporters/newscasters are smart enough to ask their own questions. They don’t stand there with a guest, and just have each question fed to them via an earpiece. The last movie I remember doing this properly was Broadcast News, and that was 1987.

The subplots are also dumb. Bridget’s mom (Gemma Jones), is a conservative, and running for parish council, so she doesn’t want Bridget showing up with a baby bump.

Darcy is helping a female punk band called Poonanny (I was the only one in the theatre that laughed when the name of the band was revealed). They have some freedom of speech thing they’re in court fighting (think Pussy Riot’s arrest in Russia).

Hugh Grant passed on doing this after reading the script. Good move, although I’d like to ask him what he saw in Florence Foster Jenkins. Emma Thompson, who won a much deserved Oscar for writing Sense and Sensibility, ended up co-writing. At least her scenes as the obstetrician were a bit of fun and surprisingly not over the top.

There was so much goofy slapstick, that by the time Jones was taken to the hospital in a small, Italian delivery vehicle — I felt like I was back watching that horrible Absolutely Fabulous.

Now, you can’t say that I didn’t like this because I’m a guy. As I’ve stated before, I loved Sense and Sensibility, The Prince of Tides, Terms of Endearment, and recorded the show Sex and the City every Sunday. Unfortunately, the Bridge Jones trilogy is a lot like the Sex and the City movies — awful.

This gets 1 star out of 5.

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