Bridget Jones is back. Those words filled me with the same tentative excitement and mildly fearful anxiety that the few weeks earlier announcement of Britney Spears' musical comeback (Vegas is close enough to retirement to not count).
Both women - one real, one a character - are icons of the past decade in their own right, but until the film reel starts rolling or the melody starts playing, there is just no way you'll know whether they'll emerge as dated, dusty pieces that belong to a museum, or whether they'll shine on gloriously once again as timeless unicorns.
In Britney's case, the VMAs were her litmus test and she came out as a glittery, yellow, much-loved but outmoded piece of pop history.
In Bridget's case, we have ourselves a legend, ladies and gentleman.
The plot of Bridget Jones's Baby is as Bridget Jonesian as it gets. In a way only she could, Jones (Renee Zellweger) goes to a music festival and has sex with a beautiful stranger (played by Patrick Dempsey, last seen as Dr Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy) only to then go have sex with her ex, Darcy (Colin Firth) a week later and then somehow, at the age of 43, becomes pregnant. Drama ensues.
While the second Bridget Jones sometimes felt like a B-side of the first – a place where all the jokes that couldn't make the cut for the first would get stashed unashamedly, this Bridget Jones is different. Enough time had passed (12 years to be exact) for it to be a different stage of her life and of pop culture, which in turn freed up the writers to craft an array of new jokes to correspond to it.
Bridget Jones's Baby is (if not on parr with) a close second to Bridget Jones's excellent debut in 2001. Which is a difficult feat. At times, it walks a fine line, dipping into areas of comedy that have been recycled too many times over the last decade to bother counting (e.g. the crazy single cat lady/spinster gag), but Jones III luckily only touches base on those areas as a little tip of the hat to her heritage before setting off elsewhere. Crisis averted.
All in all, the movie saw me and all the other popcorn munchers laughing, cringing, sinking into our seats and just generally having a good time. It's a solid Bridget Jones movie and proudly takes its place as part of a legendary film series and should definitely find a way into your plans this weekend.