Fri 20 Oct 2017, 23:00 | (0)
Renée Zellweger, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent
Spoiler alert: in this one, serial singleton Bridget Jones has a baby. The question is: which one of starched human rights lawyer Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and American poster-boy-slash-dating-site-billionaire Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey) is the father? For those who stumble across the film, there’s at least a 50% chance of guessing the correct ending, but if you’re a fan of the books, you’ll have read the third one (this film is based on a screenplay by Helen Fielding, rather than a novel) and you’ll know the position Bridget finds herself in, later in life.
After lovable cad Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) is seemingly written out of the series in the second scene, it’s no surprise that Bridget bumps into – in more ways than one - Darcy, with whom she seemingly had an on/off relationship for several years after where the second film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason left off. Then she virtually faceplants into Qwant at the muddy Glastonbury Music Festival and flees his luxury yurt the following morning without asking his name. Pregnancy ensues. Questions are raised. Honour is tested. An early-pregnancy amniocentesis which would have revealed the identity of the father and seen the credits rolling an hour before they do, is refused, and Bridget enters into a sort of weird Modern Family with super-enthusiastic Qwant on one side and rocked but responsible Darcy on the other.
In the mean while, Bridget is still Bridget, and doing what Bridget does – only, 12 years on from the second film. Her job as a producer on a live TV news show is steady until some millennials arrive and try to dumb it down and her written diary has been replaced by an iPad, but otherwise, Zellweger’s is the same character, in the best ways. Emma Thompson – who also gave the script some polish – steals a number of scenes as the deeply sarcastic and jaded OB/GYN who Bridget coerces into maintaining the ruse that either Darcy or Qwant could be the father.
Zellweger had been eager to revisit her iconic character, more than a decade after the second film: “I love this character, I like that she tells stories about what it's like to be a woman and these really relatable situations at certain times in life. It's so right to tell a story about Bridget in this stage of her life”.
Having directed the first hit instalment, Director Sharon Maguire said she was ‘scared and exhilarated’ at returning to the ‘threequel’, 15 years down the line. “I was one of those mothers in my forties that didn’t actually get married until I was after fifty, so I felt I knew that there was a good story here, one with authenticity and humor. Then I thought, ‘Yes, I’ve missed them all so much, we need to continue the journey together’.”
Three separate endings to the film were shot, and none of the cast knew which was going to be used until the film was released – indeed, author Fielding wrote a novel bearing the same name as the film and released it after the movie release, with the possible father one of Darcy or Cleaver.