There are not enough movies with a key plot point that centers around a tastefully decorated yurt. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” is one of the few that come to mind. Okay, it’s the only one that comes to mind. It’s also the only film you’ll get to see Ed Sheeran in one of those human-sized hamster balls. Or hear Colin Firth say a line like “I’ve a got a flight to Khartoum in the morning,” and not sound like he’s blowing you off. Firth can even deconstruct “Gangnam Style” and drop some knowledge at the same time. The third film in the saga of the clumsy eternal singleton is out now and ought to make fans of the first two films happy. Jones is played, as always, by Renee Zellweger with a passable British accent and a can-do spirit that often belies the reality of her situation.
The rundown is fairly straightforward: Bridget gets pregnant by one of two guys; either Firth as Mr. Darcy or Patrick Dempsey as billionaire American Jack. Both of them find her adorable and want to be part of the baby’s, and Bridget’s, life. For a person who made it into her forties with her eggs “well-past their sell-by date,” Bridget hit the jackpot either way. She’s known and loved Darcy forever, and she meets Jack at a music festival/glamping expedition she goes to with her pal Miranda (Sarah Solemani) soon after turning 42. She ends up falling face first into a mud pit, only to be rescued by Jack. She ends up seeing Darcy at a funeral and a christening where Bridget and Darcy end up as Godparents.
One thing that sticks out is Bridget’s apartment: There must be an unwritten rule in romantic comedies that all the single females must have small but cozy, quirky apartments. Cute places that are meant to convince you that this girl is both adorable and special, someone worth your time and deserving of the man of her dreams. Even if she’s fully capable of being a success on her own, a dude would help round out life.
There a plenty of life changes happening all of a sudden. Her beloved job is changing. Bridget’s new boss, Alice, is played by Kate O’Flynn. She must have been told by director Sharon Maguire things like, “Can you do that again, only more droll?” or “Good, but can you be more like Riff Raff from ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’?” Hipsters with man buns and ironic facial hair are taking over the show Bridget has poured her heart and soul into. It’s fairly evident that new kids on the show are to be disdained and thought of caricatures, since they all are.
There are not a lot of surprises the third time around, but there are a few times that the jokes land squarely. There are some gorgeous shots of London, and an amazing aerial shot zooming into the music festival. People who have read the books will notice some departures from the third book’s plot. More than a little of the third act feels like you’ve seen it before in romantic comedies like “Nine Months.” But as the credits roll, the baby’s father has been revealed and the lives of Bridget and her friends and lovers continue into the sunset. There are worse people to spend two hours with, and far worse films, too.