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Bridget Jones Diary vs. Bridget Jones Baby

On September 16, 2016, Bridget Jones’ Baby came out. Fifteen years after the original, Bridget Jones’ Diary was released. For those of you like me who hadn’t heard of the first movie before Bridget Jones’ Baby came out, let me tell you: you missed out. It is the hilariously awkward story of a thirty-two year old single woman who decides that in order to turn her life around she’s going to start chronicling it in a diary (I’ve tried it; it worked out a lot better for Bridget). Much of the film focuses on Bridget’s love life: enter Daniel Cleaver, played by Hugh Grant and Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth. Mark is very nice to look at but that’s just about where the pleasantries end, and Darcy is about as dull as a doorknob, so it was very interesting watching Bridget pine over these two (I’m not going to focus on Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; basically it’s just more of Mark with a little bit of Daniel thrown in to make things interesting and complicate Bridget’s feelings some more).

Bridget Jones’ Baby opened in a very similar fashion to the original: Bridget is on her couch drinking wine, blasting music and moping about her lack of a love life. The only difference is that instead of being thirty-two, she is now in her forties and still single (I fear I’m looking into my future). To add injury to insult, she of course runs into her old flame, Mr. Darcy in the first few minutes of the movie. Thank god, Daniel does not make a reappearance. Instead we are introduced to Jack Qwant, played by the gorgeous Patrick Dempsey. Weeks after acquainting herself with Jack and reacquainting herself with Mark, Bridget finds out that she is pregnant and unsure of who the father is; thus the hilarity ensues.  

Unlike many movies where the original trumps the sequel, Bridget Jones’ Baby is the best of the trilogy. While both movies have great dialogue, plot and cast of characters, I thought that Bridget really found her voice in Bridget Jones’ Baby, both in the form of some pithy one liners and via the avenue of her inner monologue. I will admit to being a little biased because of my love for Patrick Dempsey, but the sequel was better due to its humor. While I found myself chuckling throughout Bridget Jones’ Diary, I actually laughed out loud while watching Bridget Jones’ Baby. Bridget really grew into her character in the third movie, something that is bound to happen over time.

What I particularly like about these movies is how relatable they are. Bridget Jones is a completely attainable and relatable character. She doesn’t try to be anything she’s not, and if she does it tends to backfire. If you think about it, especially in Bridget Jones’ Baby, some of Bridget’s behavior borders on pathetic since she’s in her forties, but Bridget somehow manages to still be endearing. She’s loveable and awkward and human, and we can’t help but love her for it. Honestly, most of my favorite scenes in the movie were during the moments she was not flirting with Darcy/Mark/Daniel, but when she was just trying to live her life. There is a scene in the original movie where Bridget is trying to speak on stage at a publishing launch party, the microphone wouldn’t work, she’s stumbling through her words and on top of that, she can’t remember the author’s name. There’s no doubt in my mind that that will be me in ten years, but I digress. I don’t want to spoil too much. You’ll just have to watch the movies to find out.

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