From the looks of the trailer, you might think that Bridget Jones's Baby is a movie about a love triangle. A "Which man is Bridget going to choose?" kind of comedy that put its heroine in an awkward situation, makes everything about the men competing for her affections, and makes Bridget a second tier character in her own story. But you would be totally wrong. In fact, one of the best things about Bridget Jones's Baby is just how much it puts the focus on Bridget and her baby, the real relationship at the center of the film, rather than the two men competing for her affections, and it makes the movie that much better for it.
The premise of Bridget Jones's Baby revolves around a now 43-year-old Bridget, who has a killer job, but is still single and surrounded by friends who are married with babies. Despite this fact, Bridget remains her positive self, lip singing along to "Jump Around" and heading out to music festivals with her younger colleagues and having a blast. After one fun-filled, sex-positive few days, Bridget finds herself pregnant. But is the baby's daddy the charming American, Jack (Patrick Dempsey), with whom she had a one night stand? Or, is it ex-boyfriend and soulmate Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), whom she had a fling with after hearing about his divorce? The answer isn't clear for the entirety of the movie, and that's the way it wants things to be. The great thing about Bridget Jones's Baby is that, while there are a few moments of masculine competition, it really isn't about who the baby's daddy is. The focus is on Bridget and her baby. After all, it's right there in the title.
There's a good few moments after Bridget finds out that she's pregnant before the subject of men even comes up. In one scene, she's seen chatting with her friend shortly after taking her pregnancy test, and their conversation leans more toward Bridget, how she's feeling, what her life goals are, and if she's wanted to have kids. Is that a Bechdel test-passing conversation I sense? It's a refreshing few scenes of focus on her before those two guys who could possibly be the father even enter into her mind. And when they do, Bridget's train of thought is more of the "Oh right, one of them might want to be involved," variety, rather than a "Oh god, which one could it be?" panic.
Later on, at her first prenatal visit, Bridget's focus is solely on her baby. Her first look at the sonogram makes her exclaim that her baby is the greatest thing she's ever seen, and she immediately falls in love. The point is clear: this story is about Bridget and her baby, Bridget and her baby's health, and Bridget and her baby's future. If there's a man or a daddy involved, fine — great, even — but if not, no worries, she's got this. When her doctor suggests an amniocentesis to do a DNA test to determine who the baby's father actually is, Bridget is immediately opposed because of the possibility of miscarriage. Her attitude is essentially, "it's cool, we'll figure it out later, but I'm not putting this little one at risk."
The thing about all this is, or a movie that on the surface concerns itself with very Maury Povich-esque who is your baby's daddy plot, there's an underlying independence to it all. Sure, the main conflict is that Bridget has two men she could end up with, but Bridget's attitude, her strength, and her outlook suggest that even if she ends up with neither of them, her and her baby will be OK.
This newfound confidence in Bridget might really indicate that her character has finally grown into herself and become more accepting of her own situations. As Renee Zellweger, aka Bridget herself, told reporters in during a round table interview that Bustle attended: "In this incarnation, she’s finally a little bit more self-possessed and more inclined to listen to her own intuition. And she’s sort of recognizing that the social paradigm for happiness does not apply across the board and that it’s okay to have and determine for yourself what happiness means, you know, even if it isn’t within the conventional ideal. And maybe the suggestion to not waste so much time trying to measure up but to recognize that, you know, she’s fine."
She's totally fine, and thankfully, Bridget Jones's Baby kept its female main character at the center. The movie rightfully resisted making it about which guy she was going to end up with and more about the woman, the mother, and the marvelous, Bridget Jones.
Images: Universal Pictures (3)