Bridget Jones’s Baby: ‘Emma Thompson helps to write script that is funny in the way proper comedy is’

Renee Zellweger returns for Bridget Jones's Baby. Picture: Universal Pictures

Renee Zellweger returns for Bridget Jones's Baby. Picture: Universal Pictures - Credit: Archant

The third instalment of Bridget’s saga is a return to form, despite a contrived plot and no Daniel Cleaver

Renée Zellweger may no longer bear much resemblance to Renée Zellweger but she still, more or less, looks and sounds like Bridget Jones. More importantly, after the misfiring second film, this third instalment looks and sounds just about as good as the first one, which is really very good indeed.

It’s a romcom that is funny in the way that an actual proper comedy is. Both Richard Curtis and Andrew Davies have dropped out of the task of assisting Helen Fielding with the script, to be replaced by Emma Thompson and Dan Mazer (director of Dirty Grandpa) and they’ve come through with plenty of cracking lines.

The disappointment of this new film is revealed early – they have killed off Hugh Grant. His entrance in the first film, moving in slow motion out of a lift, his eyes moving like a predator from side to side, was one of the great movie entrances, the romcom equivalent of Harry Lime appearing in that Viennese doorway. His absence means that they have to find someone new for Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy to battle with for Bridget’s affections, after she becomes pregnant following a pair of one night stands.

The American Patrick Dempsey is put in the chump role – his character is sensitive, thoughtful and an internet billionaire and thus no match for the stuck up, emotionally frigid Darcy. In this film Firth seems more aloof and regal than he was in The King’s Speech. These films are aimed at the soppy lady market, but as a manly man I have to confess I have a huge emotional investment in Colin Firth getting his happy ending.

Finally, here are your nit picks. It is way too long, there is a definite dip in the quantity and quality of laughs after the first hour and a lot of the returning supporting cast only get a few minutes of screen time. They all do though get to do something that brings out their qualities.

The plot is ludicrously contrived and it all takes place in a fantasy London where inept, clueless, but well connected people can skip happily through a well paid media career.

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For a review of Two Women and the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray/ DVD re-release of The Commitments visit

Rating: 4/5 stars