Bridget Jones’s Diary is one of my favorite comfort films — it’s the baked potato of movies, the wine cardigan of rom-coms. And it’s really held up over the years, due in large part to flawless casting. Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones are perfect as her parents, Hugh Grant is the only Daniel Cleaver I can ever accept, and Colin Firth… well. And while I recall a bit of a squawking about a British actress not being cast as Bridget, I don’t think Renee Zellweger has ever been better in anything, and that IS a compliment. One which I offer as someone who will drop what I’m doing and watch her minutes-long cut-free monologue at the end of Down With Love.
The second movie… I prefer not to engage with; the third book, I didn’t read, but I do well remember the outcry — not a spoiler, as it was openly discussed in reviews and is the premise of the whole book — that Helen Fielding had killed Mark Darcy. I can accept those sorts of plot twists in service of a new narrative, but it seemed like in this case it was done just to clear the board and tell the same Poor Bridget Bumbles Through Life As A Singleton story. (My problem with the Sex and the City movie was the same: It basically undid the work of the series finale, just to spent two expensive hours reassembling it.)
And NOW, the movie franchise is back:
This is from the set of Bridget Jones’s Baby, set between books two and three. Patrick Dempsey has been hired to co-star with Renee and the Firth, and I read something about him as a potential spoiler for Bridget and Mark, which sounds like a TEDIOUS RETREAD. I’m curious if that will actually be how it comes to pass. But I’m pleased to see Bridget embracing a striped shirt, and as much as that coat looks like Cookie Monster’s beloved relative has met a grim end, I also want to wear it. Right now.
Let’s discuss our feelings: Are you happy Bridget is back? Are you glad they’re not making the third book into a film? Did you dislike Edge of Reason — book and movie — as much as I did? Do you even like the first one? And what are your hopes for Bridget Jones’s Baby so that it feels like a welcome reunion rather than a retread?