Rated R
122 Minutes
Released September 16th

Bridget Jones’s Baby is a charming romantic comedy with a modern twist. It features some hilarious inter-generational and American vs. British mistaken-identity gaffes that serve as background for the latest awkward romantic escapades of Ms. Bridget Jones. Millennials, tech moguls, even Ed Sheeran are not immune to the fun. Watch for Sheeran’s comical cameo. Several of the characters from Bridget Jones’s Diary are reprised. Even the director is the same. Sharon Maguire, helmed the original film (she is actually the model for the character “Shazza” in the story).

Renee Zellwegger is a courageous and dedicated actress, one who chose that career to act rather than to be famous. In high school she joined the drama club. She took acting jobs while waitressing in Houston. While on set playing a small role in the sequel to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Renee befriended fellow Texan Matthew McConaughey, and won a role on a project he was working on, Love and a .45. For that work, she earned enough critical acclaim to muster the confidence to move to Hollywood. Soon Cameron Crowe cast her in Jerry Maguire, a performance that brought her fame. In 2000 she starred in the comedy Nurse Betty, and in 2001 she gained 20 pounds to create the role of the endearing Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Never afraid of a challenge, Zellwegger, who had never sung nor danced on stage, endured ten months of rigorous training to play “Roxie Hart” in the film version of the musical Chicago. Her portrayal of “Ruby Thewes” in Cold Mountain also brought critical raves. In addition, Zellweger has worked on numerous independent films.

Lately entertainment news has been more interested in Zellweger’s plastic surgeries than in her extraordinary body of work. As an audience, we seem to decide that once we’ve embraced an actor’s image on screen, we own that image. Every personal decision the celebrity makes becomes our business. Those stories shouldn’t interest us – I know first-hand how they twist reality.

In Bridget Jones’s Baby, Zellwegger again completely embraces the role of “Bridget Jones. She is one of the few American actors who can create a believable British character – she seems to instinctively know that most of the “British’isms” are in the formation of the words, not in the actual pronunciation. It is the inflections, the pursing of the lips and twisting of the facial muscles, as if to always be apologizing for overstepping a boundary of the conversation, that defines the expression of the Brits.

Although slightly haphazard at the beginning, the story gains legs as it goes on. Emma Thompson, who also was one of the writers of the film, portrays a dry, repressed, middle-aged gynecologist and drives home a laughable, sarcastic look at upscale British society. Kate O’Flynn, as Bridget’s tough and much younger millennial boss, is hilarious. The filmmakers were smart to cast Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey as an American tech mogul whose business acumen outshines his social skills – Grey’s Anatomy fans will flock to see this film. This is an enjoyable movie that flings very funny self-effacing arrows at the social posturing of modern British and American society.

 

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which is the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com. For previously published reviews see https://kwboole.wordpress.com/