Jones: Back and better

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Romantic comedies, or “rom-coms” as we usually refer to them, often get a bad rep. Why? Well, mainly because they consist of cheesy, predictable scripts with beautiful, modelesque women running off into the sunset with beautiful modelesque men. We laugh and roll our eyes at these films because they are just plain unrealistic.

When “Bridget Jones’s Diary” came out in 2001, this film was a success because it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill romcom. Instead, it gave us the absolutely wonderfully weird Bridget Jones, played by the talented Renee Zellweger. Jones is a clumsy, witty, single, trying-to-loseweight 32-year-old trying to find love and success in a big city. Now, doesn’t that sound more realistic? “Bridget Jones Diary” set the standard for what a romantic comedy should be– funny, relatable and enjoyable to watch. Needless to say, pretty much everybody was gutted when the sequel “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” turned out to be a messy, stupid failure of a follow-up film.

However, the latest installment, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” almost makes up for the horrible sequel and returns back to the hilarity and quirkiness that made the first film so adored.

As “Bridget Jones’s Baby” starts, we rediscover the cheeky, unfortunate Jones, who, in her early forties, is still single and childless despite her friends’, family’s (and society’s) judgment. After a non-eventful 43rd birthday filled with canceled plans from her married friends, Jones decides to rewrite her “spinster” status because she has a kickass job as a top television producer. Her hilarious and sassy younger news anchor friend, Miranda (Sarah Solemani), takes Bridget to a music festival, where they can both properly celebrate their single status. After not-so-gracefully falling into a pit of mud, Jones meets the charming Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and later reconnects with him for a night of fun and spontaneity.

After returning home from the festival, Jones attends the christening of one of her old friend’s children where she is forced to spend time with her ex, the serious yet regal Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). The two take a stroll down memory lane, remembering the past years of their on-and-off-again relationship. Ignoring their troubles for a night of passion, the pair reconnect for what Jones believes is one final time.

Well, after reading the name of the movie, it’s no secret what happens next. Bridget Jones is pregnant. Yes, the 43-year-old Bridget is expecting despite all odds, but that isn’t the biggest thing on her mind. After having back-to-back flings with two men, Jones has no clue which man is the father, and this is where the true fun starts.

Now most normal people in this odd dilemma would just explain the situation to both men in order to figure out the father, right? But, that wouldn’t be Bridget. She gets Jack to come onto her television show and with the help of her friends, hilariously attempts to get DNA samples and personal information (on air) about him.

The antics don’t just end there. Bridget, avoiding the painful truth that only one of these men is the real father, bounces between the two, allowing them both to believe they are the father.

Although it is cringeworthy that both of these men think they are the doting dad-to-be, the movie never strays into overly-dramatic soap opera territory. It still remains light and funny, even with this unusual plot.

At times, the story seems a little too outrageous and unbelievable, making you think: Would this type of narrative actually happen? I mean, would a gynecologist really do two sonogram readings to spare the hearts of two potential dads? Well, probably not, but it’s still fun to see this type of story displayed on the big screen, and in 2016 an unconventional family is the new norm.

Overall, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” is a huge step up from its predecessor in the series. It returns to the characters we fell in love with in the first film, the silly, irresponsible Bridget and the austere yet warm-hearted Mark Darcy, while also introducing notable new characters like the hilarious Miranda and captivating Jack. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” recaptures why we love to follow Jones’s life— it’s messy and crazy, but in the best way possible.