'Bridget Jones' Baby' Review: Renée Zellweger Is Back, Better Than Ever
The 47-year-old actress dazzled as she attended the NY premiere of "Bridget Jones's Baby" at The Paris Theatre in Manhattan. I know how she feels. And then weeks later, at a christening, you and Mark Darcy are shoved together again as the godparents to a precious baby. Now, with 12 years passing since the release of the not-so-great "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason", bringing Bridget back to the big screen is scary but beyond fulfilling for Zellweger. Not a bad thing, since it makes room in a putative romantic comedy for some of the funniest newsroom send-up scenes I've seen since Broadcast News.
Although middle-age and still single, Zellweger's Bridget is the same relatable, spunky firecracker she was in the first two films. If only she knew who was the father. (Can't say how, but it is amusing.) Bridget attends Glastonbury where Jack rescues her from a pratfall in the mud and she sleeps with him but two weeks later she bumps into Darcy, who confesses he has split from his wife, and she sleeps with him too. She falls in some mud, but she also gets the attention of Jack (Patrick Dempsey).
This leads to chance steamy encounters with a handsome stranger named Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and her ex Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). But the fact is Bridget is pregnant. He remains a stiff, but not enough of one to resist a night of unplanned lust with Bridget.
"It was really familiar for a lot of reasons and the process of preparation was the same, except there was a lot to explore in terms of deciding how to animate her evolution to this period of time".
As a mum of a 20 year old I'm still proud to be able to say I STILL have it, whatever IT might be. A week later, she and Darcy (who is now separated) briefly reconnect under the sheets. There's a amusing, healthy element of slapstick at play, as with all Bridget movies.
As someone who watched Bridget Jones's Baby having seen neither of the first two films, I didn't have any expectations going into the theater, and found myself both pleasantly surprised, and understanding what's appreciated about the series. Yet, in the years since, Zellweger's profile has diminished, and her Oscar-winning performance is remembered more for her over-the-top accent than as a career highlight. She's being pushed out at work, and as her no-nonsense obstetrician (Emma Thompson, in full headmistress throttle) never fails to remind her, she's a "geriatric mother". I must admit, diary, after all the photos and reports and columns devoted to her changed physical features, I felt compelled to take a good hard look at her face. She's looking at a lonely future. The test would reveal the identity of her unborn baby's father, but she won't have it, in part because there wouldn't be a movie if she did. Her inconsistency at work is unrealistically laughed off.
"I carry a baby quite a bit in this film and that gets really heavy after 10 hours, I can't imagine carrying me for two or three days", Zellweger added of the prosthetic baby bump she had to wear, which Dempsey said "must have been 60 pounds of just all plastic". Also, Renee Zellweger went away for a while, taking a six-year sojourn from acting that was interrupted only by some unpleasant and judgemental reporting about her appearance at a red carpet event. She has finally reached goal weight.