Britain’s most beloved heroine is back and there’s no need to worry; this film rises out from the ashes of the many failed belated sequels of recent years. Bridget is the same, but has developed, with the film giving the perfect balance of the old and familiar and the new and exciting.
We are reunited with Bridget after many years, single again but a lot happier. After a fling with an old flame, Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy (who else?), and a one night stand with dapper American entrepreneur Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), Bridget finds herself pregnant…with no clear idea of who the father is. What ensues is a hilarious mix of farce, competition and everything that makes a great Bridget Jones adventure.
Despite the sadness that likely hit Bridget fans at the news of his departure, Hugh Grant is rarely missed. Dempsey’s suitor is more than up to the task of rivaling the beloved Darcy. The character is one of his own, not a Daniel Cleaver replica. He is the keen American, wise about the newfangled remedies, and eager to please Bridget at every corner. While he is not quite the perfect counterbalance to Darcy that Cleaver was, he works well in his place. The lack of another iconic fight scene may disappoint, but the lack of one in itself provides a moment of great comedy. Darcy and Qwant’s competition for Bridget’s heart provides a lot of the film’s hilarity as they clash time after time, with the great chemistry between all of the leads and the way they play off each other really lighting up the screen.
Another new addition, Sarah Solemani as Bridget’s colleague and new pal Miranda also fits well into the cast of old characters, providing many of the funny moments, especially at Bridget’s work. The presence of the brilliant Emma Thompson as Bridget’s doctor also elevates every scene she’s in, especially as the cast all play off each other to fantastic effect. However, as much as the new characters add a lot, it is the familiarity of the original cast slipping seamlessly back into character that helps give the film the feeling it has, tying this new grown up Bridget to the one we know and love. The characters have all developed and moved on allowing their interactions to not feel like a retread. Similarly, the return of Sharon Maguire is also extremely welcome, returning the series to form.
The films opening is a fun play on the original’s, immediately showing how Bridget has changed and reintroducing you to the character perfectly. The film maintains its quintessentially British core and blends the romance with comedy as well as it did in the first film. The ending may wrap up the story a little to perfectly for some, but will likely satisfy the majority.
There are countless laugh out loud moments that will have the whole cinema in fits. So many that you might even miss the next joke over all the giggles, giving something to discover next time. This is a great contender for funniest film of the year and will leave you with a big smile on your face.
The overall result is a roaring success that is likely to be almost as rewatchable as the original. It doesn’t exactly recapture the feel (although that would be hard to do), but adds something different, perfectly blending the old and the new to provide a real treat for fans.