#justwatched Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016 dir. Sharon Maguire)

(Bridget Jones’s Baby, 2016 – Working Title)

Bridget Jones’s Baby starts just how you’d expect it to; same music, same sofa, same penguin pyjamas, same Bridget . However, as quickly as the music shifts in pace, the film morphs into something quite different altogether – sadly for the worse.  Whereas the original 2001 film somehow holds a sense of timelessness (with the 2004 sequel following suit), this film will feel dated in the near future.

It’s a pleasure to spend time with Renée Zellweger’s charmingly awkward Bridget. As always, she’s funny and relatable with a script full of clever writing, including the back and forth dialogue between Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey). The film best moments are in the TV studio where Bridget works. Yet, the overuse of new technology and new popular phrases cheapen the film. The script is full of modern phrasing, hashtags here and there and even a comical (out of place) appearance from Ed Sheeran. There are so many pop culture references in place just to convey that time has passed since we last saw Bridget, it comes across as overkill. While I understand that these ideas are in place to situate Bridget Jones as an ‘older’ woman in TV production and leads to an plot revelation towards the end, it just didn’t feel very Bridget. The use of popular music feels contrived, messy and without proper thought.

For me, the original Bridget Jones is put together masterfully. Though the first film also used popular music (which could possibly date the film) it feels timeless because the music doesn’t explictly infer a year. Instead it infers Bridget herself. Maybe this film would have benefitted from reuse of the original soundtrack.

Interestingly, this film led to a rather large debate on whether there is a difference between ‘film’ and ‘cinema’. For me there is. Bridget Jones’s Baby is a good film, I laughed countless times and enjoyed it overall. But it’s not great cinema, but then it doesn’t try to be.

Something I’ve noticed recently – the films I love don’t use mobile phones, iPads, FaceTime, Skype etc. There is something about a landline phone that just produces a wonderful cinematic feeling.  Mobile phones just feel too easy and cheap.

 

 

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