Credit: Universal Pictures
In our now millennial era, our social media feeds are flooded with nostalgic cinematic moments remembering 10 years since The Devil Wears Prada, 15 years since Legally Blonde and in the case of Romeo and Juliet, 20 years in November. It’s as fitting then as Bridget Jones’ spanx debut back in 2001 that 15 years since our initial meeting with the beloved, bumbling heroine, we catch up again. And this time round, Jones (Renee Zellweger) has notably lost weight and has an incredible job as a television producer, albeit is still unlucky in love after splitting with highflying barrister Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). (Read: a man who when asked if he can dance to Gangham Style recites the history of Gangham, that is, the city of Seoul and a word that literally means “south of the river.” Thank you, Mark.) And thus Jones spends another birthday – this year her 43rd – alone in her apartment to a the tune of Celine Dion’s All By Myself. Not again.
Unlike the third book in which this film should have been based (Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy), the director Sharon Maguire chose not to kill off Darcy and instead focuses in on Jones’ introduction to motherhood. After attending a music festival, Jones meets Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), a smooth talking, very good-looking dating-site host and billionaire. When she drunkenly stumbles into his tent, she spends the night. Four days later, after seeing Darcy at a christening, she also ends up sleeping with him. And so the plot progresses: a few weeks later (12 to be exact), Jones discovers she’s pregnant but hasn’t a clue who the father is. Like most women aged in their 40s, Jones feels this opportunity may not happen again for her and a question of not having the baby is never entertained. As we were 15 years ago in Jones’ tiny, cluttered apartment – the one where you have to duck through the doorways – she begins writing a list of pros and cons or a “ways to tell Darcy and Qwant about my predicament” list. A reflection of the times is shown as Jones types these lists on a laptop in lieu of her physical diary the author built a franchise on.
Credit: Universal Pictures
Zellweger, for all her awkward and painfully shy interviews she gave during her Australian promotional trip for the film last month, plays perfect imperfection. Just like all of those years ago, you warm to her deeply flawed character, you feel for her when she tries to keep up with the digital-savvy millenials at work and your heart will bleed when she gives birth to her baby. Jones has grown up and although still a tad downtrodden and bumbling through life via internal monologues, we have a little more faith in her this time round that she will fall on her clumsy feet. Watch for a stand-out performance in Emma Thompson, Jones’ hilarious obstetrician who more than plays along with the baby daddy debacle.
Bridget Jones’s Baby is in Australian cinemas now.