I’ve admitted many times, I’m a hopeless romantic. I do require good stories and well-made presentations, but I like a good love story as much as I love good action, mystery, horror, science fiction, fantasy, etc. But love stories are a little different. They are designed to make you feel like things are possible, that life is surmountable, and we give them a bit more breathing room to make their points. They’re “good for what ails you,” as the saying goes. Of course, when done well, they become instant classics. When done middling, well, they have their moments and we tend to then forget them when the next one comes along. That said, I also cannot abide saccharine or gooey romances. I need more a sense of real life… aka humor and a bit of challenge.
The Bridget Jones series, while imperfect, falls nicely into that category. After a 10+ year hiatus, it has also finally resolved itself in a final burst of entertaining frustration and silliness. By now you know the rhythms and jokes, but this script doesn’t make the mistake of trying to make older characters pretend they’re younger… the story picks up more than a decade down the road from Edge of Reason. Of course, these are still the same people, they’re just older so the issues remain relatively similar, just with characters more sure of how they should go about mucking it all up. Bringing back director Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’s Diary) helped with that as well.
Renée Zellweger (Bee Movie) recaptures Bridget solidly. This is a character that will stick to her career, seemingly, forever. And, of course, the redoubtable Colin Firth (Genius) is there as well. However, it is Patrick Dempsey (Flypaper) as the third line in the triangle for this finale, rather than Hugh Grant. It adds a nice freshness and avoids directly sending everyone to their well-known corners. Bridget’s friends are still in play, but the additions of Emma Thompson (A Walk in the Woods) and Sarah Solemani (Mrs. Henderson Presents) lift the rhetoric and amusement quite a bit. Thompson even had her hands in the script.
As a completion to the tale, this is a nice wrap-up. It is a bit frustrating as the tangles created take some rather forced moments and choices, but it is all within the bounds of character and rules of the story. If you enjoyed the previous two, you should see the wrap-up. If you have never found this sort of silly rom-com palatable, this isn’t the film that will change your mind.