Bridget Jones is single and 43 when she decides to focus on work rather than her love life. During a weekend music festival, she meets a tall, dark and handsome American stranger and enjoys a night of passion. One week later, she falls into bed with her estranged lover, Mark Darcy. The inevitable happens and it turns out that each man has a 50-percent chance of being the baby’s father. Chaos and mayhem ensue as she tries to keep the truth from them but it finally comes out one night at dinner. Will she return to her old flame or walk into the sunset with her newest love?
2016, Color, Rated R, 2 Hrs 3 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey
Directed by Sharon Maguire
Successful romantic comedies follow a tried-and-true formula. Start with a group of endearing characters. Write a script that provides believable chemistry between said characters. String together a variety of awkward moments, physical gags and punchy one-liners. Then bake for about 90 minutes. And be sure to use quality ingredients, aka good actors, an experienced director and most importantly, a creative screenplay. Bridget Jones’s Baby gets some of these things right and some, not so much.
Renée Zellweger is a wonderful actress. I’ve enjoyed her work in films like Chicago. But as a Brit, she just doesn’t quite cut it. Her accent and inflections are believable until she’s surrounded by actual Brits. Then it becomes quite obvious she’s a Yank. The story here is soap-opera 101. A woman gets pregnant after having relations with two men and doesn’t know who the father is. Yawn. The awkward moments come off reasonably well with some good physical comedy and even a bit of clever writing. The best characters are those played by Colin Firth and Emma Thompson. I’m not sure either of them could look bad regardless of the script they were working with. Thompson as the obstetrician absolutely steals every scene she’s in. We’re only talking about 15 minutes of total screen time at most but the movie is worth watching just for her.
As a total package Bridget Jones’s Baby falls short. As a collection of funny skits, clever one-liners and stellar work by supporting actors, it’s entertaining. Remember the 90-minute bake time? This movie is just a little over-cooked at nearly two hours. But for a rental or one-time viewing, fans of the rom-com will be satisfied.
The image is nicely saturated with bold bright colors drawn from a natural palette. London is frequently portrayed as a dark murky place but this film makes great use of well-lit interiors to keep the presentation lively. Contrast is also broad and deep with detailed blacks and highlights. My only beef is the occasional softness that is most likely a flaw in camera focus rather than a problem with the transfer.
Audio is dialog-centric as it should be and the pop music track underneath is mixed with great balance and clarity. Ambient effects are used sparingly which is a missed opportunity; particularly in outdoor city sequences where I yearned for a little more hustle and bustle. Overall though, this is a well-done encode and it serves the film well.
Bonus features include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, a gag reel and making-of featurettes with principal cast members.