This is a joint film review by Ashley Tan and Kiara Pillai (406).
When we spotted the large poster plastered on the walls on the side of the escalator that led to Shaw theatre, both of us squealed in delight, brimming with anticipation for the film that we would be catching. Finally, the moment to watch Bridget Jones’s Baby had arrived! Needless to say, we were beyond excited.
The film follows the shambolic heroine Bridget Jones and her rather catastrophic love life, bringing the audience on a journey of laughter, tears, and second-hand mortification as we watch her life (literally) fall apart before our very eyes. To be quite frank, we have probably never laughed so hard in our entire lives. Seeing that both of us have had different experiences vis-a-vis the Bridget Jones franchise, we’re going to share our own thoughts on the new film below. Check out this space!
From the perspective of the newbie-turned-fan
As a newcomer to the Bridget Jones series, and not the most avid fan of comedy, I can genuinely say that the experience was a thoroughly enjoyable one. To be honest, I was incredibly skeptical as we settled into the plush seats, because I was expecting trashy-comedy of the likes of Mrs Doubtfire or rush hour. But within two minutes of watching the film, which cuts to Bridget’s sad, sad celebration of her birthday, I was giggling uncontrollably. The style of comedy is not the over-the-top, slapstick likes of Johnny English, yet it can hardly be called sophisticated humour. Rather, between Bridget’s clumsiness and social ineptitude, as well as the myriad of dirty jokes and innuendos, the film strikes the perfect balance that definitely appeals to a wide range of audiences. Yet at the same time, as an audience member, I was not distanced, but completely drawn into her world, and could completely relate with the protagonist, even if she was a 40 year old trying to figure out who her “baby daddy” was.
Kudos to the spectacular acting on the part of Renee Zellweger and her co-stars, who all played their respective roles in ways that heightened the caricature each of them was to portray (stiff british, new-age modern woman, sardonic doctor etc.). Their acting made each character so unique and relatable, and were definitely monumental to my enjoyment of the film. All in all, Bridget Jones’s baby is a fantastic movie, and watching this has definitely inspired me to watch the first and second installments, and maybe even catch this one again.
“I am ready to roll with the ironic bearded hipsters. Hashtag let’s do this.”- Bridget
From the perspective of the seasoned fan
Having watched the previous two Bridget Jones movies, I was, needless to say, literally jumping for joy when I heard that a third movie would be released this year. After all, who could possibly resist the authentic and unabashed character of Bridget Jones herself, and the ever-so aloof yet enigmatic persona of Mark Darcy, who is possibly the only man who could ever pull off a dorky Christmas sweatshirt? Granted, it was rather disappointing when news broke that the utterly charming Hugh Grant wouldn’t be returning for the third installment of the franchise, but Bridget’s new love interest played by Patrick Dempsey sure didn’t disappoint with his McDreamy, endearing smile either.
Going into the movie, there were a few doubts that were running amok in my mind.
“Would this latest film match the standards of the previous two?”
“Will the storyline seem too repetitive?”
“What if I don’t like the movie?”
Sometimes, people refrain from watching comebacks of their favourite films simply because there’s always this lingering fear at the back of their minds that the newest film may end up totally ruining their impression of the franchise as a whole, especially if the latest installment falls below their expectations. In the beginning, similar thoughts deluged me too. But once the familiar image of Bridget holding a cupcake with a lone candle lighted the screen, my gut told me that the latest film was not going to disappoint.
Similar to the two previous movies, Bridget Jones’s Baby was filled with plenty of sexual insinuations, mordant jokes and a whole truckload of slapstick comedy. But there’s nothing to complain about here, because it is precisely these elements that characterise the Bridget Jones franchise, and are, perhaps, what make the films so appealing. There were so many times in the movie where I truly felt like digging a hole and burying myself in it when I watched Bridget fall into more-than-awkward situations, like that one scene where she met Ed Sheeran (another plus point for featuring my favourite ginger-haired singer) and didn’t even recognise him! And when she finally did, she dismissively conjectured that he was probably “the guy from her local Starbucks”. There was an abundance of cringe-worthy scenes, yet it was because they were so unbelievably relatable that the audience cannot help but become captivated by these moments. There were countless of times where I remember pointing to the screen and whisper-yelled to Kiara, “That’s so me!”, precisely because Bridget’s actions allowed me to draw parallels to my own life.
To say that Bridget’s life was (or perhaps still is!) a mess would be a complete understatement. Yet, we are somehow able to connect to her character because we have experienced similar awkward situations too in our personal lives. In each of us exists a Bridget Jones, perhaps more toned down or even amplified, and sometimes, we may find ourselves wishing that these socially inept parts of ourselves didn’t exist.
But if there’s one thing that the Bridget Jones’s movies has taught us, it would be this: Never give up, never lose faith, and always remain true to yourself. (Even if that means getting knocked up and facing a messy quandary of trying to distinguish who your baby daddy is.)
“I like you very much. Just as you are.” – Mr Darcy
Overall rating: 5 stars