Reviewed by: Rev. Bryan Griem
|Featuring:|| Renée Zellweger … Bridget Jones
Patrick Dempsey … Jack Qwant
Colin Firth … Mark Darcy
Emma Thompson … Dr. Rawling
Shirley Henderson … Jude
Jim Broadbent … Bridget's Dad
|Director:||Sharon Maguire—“Bridget Jones's Diary” (2001)|
“Relationship status: beyond complicated”
For anyone who has seen the previous two episodes of this Bridget trilogy, there may be a strong desire to see the conclusion, and without giving much away, I do think this one has put a cap on it, and there won’t be any more about Bridget Jones. The story has come a decade-and-a-half through time, and when the first film began, actress Renée Zellweger was in her early 30s, whereas now she’s in her late 40’s. Her character tries to back it up several years as the movie opens on Bridget’s lonely birthday, but even her stated age becomes an issue on her broadcasting job where a group of Hipsters have taken power, and they want more millennial focused “news” rather than what Bridget’s demographic was putting out and what they termed, “olds.”
So the film is about Bridget’s mid-life crisis of spinsterhood, having never solidified a relationship with the previous movies’ suitors, and she wants to go and have a crazy last youthful blowout, including mindless amounts of alcohol and an indiscriminate sexual hook-up (which Patrick Dempsey’s character is happy to oblige). Her boyfriend from the previous film is now married, and her hopes of ever being a mom and having a family are looking grim, yet, ironically, days after her wild tryst, Mark Darcy re-enters the scene with tales of a looming divorce and a renewed longing for Bridget, and so she does it again.
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
The story then becomes an unfolding of something you’d expect to see on “The Maury Show,” where fornication has necessitated DNA tests and one of the two is declared “not the father!” Yes we find out who is, and the film additionally presents to us all manner of alternative worldly-positive relationships, including a strong homosexual presence with men kissing, Bridget’s illicit lovers pretending to be gay, and women at the birthing class being pregnant lesbians, apparently (and everyone in Bridget’s heterosexual sphere unanimously prompted the behavior that got her into her storied predicament). Sodom and Gomorrah also got a positive reference at one point, but besides that and the couple of times “Christ” is used as an expletive, that’s about as much Bible as you’ll get.
Now perhaps I have just forgotten much of the previous installments of this franchise, but this one knocks profanity off the charts, and it was hard for me to present an exact count of how many times the F-bomb gets uttered, but it comes in every form, expression, idiom and attitude. It is as mainstream, I suppose, as much of our world today which cannot distinguish from appropriate speech. It rather becomes white noise after awhile, but not really. Off-color references to genitals, intercourse, semen, female dogs, the size of a male organ, breasts, bottoms, everything you can imagine finds its way into every character’s vocabulary, and while all of these mentioned are said a few times each, none compare to the punctuated use of the F-word (maybe 20+ times, not including an additional whole song about it) all crammed into 2 hours! Oh, and they also bare the middle finger for additional unspoken F-Yous.
As for nudity, there is nothing sexually explicit as far as the act goes, except that the make-out preliminaries get pretty warm. There is a glimpse of Bridget’s bare hip/thigh during that activity, the rude “mooning” of a bunch of rednecks on the news, and a brief breast-flash by some female demonstrators. Bridget’s father is also inadvertently seen on the toilet as exposed by his obtuse wife, and a flashback shows naked Bridget from behind, in a kitchen apron.
What the filmmaker tried to present as the story’s redeeming elements would have to do with the evolving respect the two paternal candidates show for one another, as well as their steady sense of fatherly responsibility; the laudable fact that Bridget didn’t abort the unintended pregnancy, and a final element that I won’t give away. But there is something to note about aging, about how worldly our world really is, and how much of what is being presented for our viewing pleasure is clearly ungodly. While the audience laughed and even clapped for this movie, there was some sadness in me afterword—sadness that we are awash in society of profanity and sexual indiscretion; that a pretty actress like Zellwegger, and the rest of her cast, had to repeat the words of the script like X-rated puppets, and that everyone is getting older and looking their age but trying not too, even though their bell will soon toll.
I don’t recommend the movie as any sort of clean fun, but to the diehards who must see how it all turns out, expect an assault on your Christian sensibilities. There are light-hearted moments, but understand going in that this is modern Hollywood. Pray for these people. And oh, there’s nothing much after the credits except a photograph that doesn’t show anything you haven’t already seen.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.