Who knew that the Bridget Jones trilogy was a Universal franchise? How is there not a theme park ride at this point? These movies make money - lots of it! Imagine the thrill of of soaring over the busy streets of London as Bridget Jones adorably falls down.
This week sees the release of Miss Jones’s third movie, Bridget Jones’s Baby. If you can’t guess from the title, Bridget Jones has a baby in this one.
I think it’s only fair and responsible for me to tell you at the start of this review that I don’t like the movies in this series I don’t find any of the characters particularly charming or even remotely likable, and I hate the number of laugh moments that rely on wacky musical cues for their punchline.
Now, let me be clear here. While I don’t like these movies, I have seen all three with my wife and I fully recognize that they resonate in a big way with their intended audience, so it would be unfair for me to call this a bad movie. I am sure that a vast majority of the women in the Bridget Jones’s Baby audience could point out flaws with The Muppets Take Manhattan, and I think that is a freakin’ masterpiece!
Okay, I’ve been fair. Now I get to do what I like best - complain about a movie I don’t like!
Bridget Jones’s Baby opens on the night of our eponymous heroine’s 43rd birthday. Now all of her friends are married with kids, and they have bailed on her party plans, so she is at home alone doing what I assume all British women do when they are by themselves - lip syncing House of Pain’s “Jump Around.”
Here comes a long rant. I hate that song. “Jump Around” wasn’t good in 1992. It wasn’t good when the University of Wisconsin started playing it in their football stadium and it became the anthem of their student section. It’s not good now. If you need anymore reason to hate it, consider that “Jump Around” made Everlast’s “What It’s Like” possible in 1999. While that song was great if you wanted to prove to your college girlfriend that you “got it,” it has no redeeming entertainment value.
That being said, I’ve met Everlast and he’s lovely. Lovely but horrible.
Next, we cut to a funeral. Bridget and her friends are their to send the late Daniel Cleaver (played by Hugh Grant in the previous Bridget Jones movies) off to the afterlife. At that funeral Bridget sees her beloved Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth). Bridget has no one and her on again/off again love is there with his wife.
These events all lead up to Bridget and her colleague Miranda going to an outdoor music festival for a crazy girls’ weekend. There are a lot of hack jokes and horrible music in this movie and the music festival is where that all comes to a head.
Ed Sheeran is there. Bridget and Miranda demand he take their picture because they don’t know he’s famous! LOL!
Also, Ed Sheeran is supposed to be headlining this festival and they show a crowd of like 50,000 people going nuts for him. I find it hard to believe there are that many Ed Sheeran fans on Earth that are in the same demo as music-festival goers.
Bridget meets a handsome man (Grey’s Anatomy’s Patrick Dempsey) and has a one night fling with him.
A few weeks later, she is at the christening of one of her friends’ kids. I don’t know which friend. Bridget is the godmother and in a wacky twist, Mr. Darcy is the godfather.
The two talk at the reception. It’s revealed that Mr. Darcy is unfamiliar with “Gangam Style,” but good news! He’s still a humorless tool. It’s also revealed that he and his wife have recently begun divorce proceedings. These kids can’t help themselves. Off to bed they go!
Soon Bridget finds out she’s pregnant and the mystery begins. Who is the father? The mystery man she met at Sheeran Fest or the man who has broken her heart too many times to count. Neither seem like good options really.
One morning Miranda calls Bridget and tells her to turn on the TV. The mystery man is an American billionaire that has made his fortune from an eHarmony type site. I have to wonder what a billionaire would be doing at a music festival headlined by Ed Sheeran, but I digress. Bridget books him as a guest on Miranda’s talk show in an attempt to covertly get a DNA sample from him.
Bridget, for being a seasoned professional we’re supposed to believe is every woman, is horrible at her job. There are so many examples in this movie of Bridget being horrible at her job, that it’s hard to figure out what purpose this character trait serves.
No sense in continuing the recap. Here’s what you need to know. Bridget has two potential baby-daddies here. Mr. Darcy seems like the least pleasant human being on Earth and Patrick Dempsey’s Jack is clearly mentally unstable. One second he is an emotionless robot driven by mathematical formulas. The next he is a new age homeopathic guru.
I didn’t like Bridget Jones’s Baby. Also, I realize Jones’s is how it’s supposed to be spelled, but it looks clunky and I find it distracting.
Again though, this movie is not for me. It’s for people like my wife, who swoon every time Colin Firth opens his mouth, despite the fact that nothing interesting ever comes out of it. It’s for people like the woman who was sitting in front of me that loudly cheered her approval when Bridget declared her intention to have a one night stand.
I cannot speak for them, because I just don’t get where their coming from. My wife once, years ago, told me that if I was ever the chubby girl in high school I would find Bridget Jones a lot more likable. Maybe that’s the problem.
All I ask is that when you walk out of the theater you agree that as a society, we need to be done with House of Pain’s “Jump Around.”
Demetri Ravanos is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association and has reviewed movies for Raleigh and Company, Military1.com and The Alan Kabel Radio Network.