Bridget Jones’s Baby is one of those movies you really shouldn’t think too much about. It’s cute, adorable fluff until you start analysing it–which, me being me, is exactly what I did.
My immediate reaction after leaving the theater was a positive one. I loved seeing Bridget on the screen again and was quite taken with her new suitor, Jack. I loved the goofier humor and her new thirty-something friends. There were, sadly, some pop culture jokes and references that already felt dated, but in the one lone Rom-Com of the year, I was willing to overlook a little lack of coolness.
It really is that general lack of Rom-Coms which makes me so sad that Bridget Jones’s Baby doesn’t work so well once you start dissecting the “Rom” part of the “Rom-Com.” The ending of the film wasn’t a surprise, but it wasn’t exactly a welcome revelation either–especially considering the information we’re given over the course of the film.
Warning: From here on out, there are spoilers.
So here it is: I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to have Bridget end up with a workaholic who hasn’t been able to commit to her for the last ten years, but that’s the ending of we get. Perhaps, we’re supposed to want her to end up with Mr. Mark Darcy simply because we’ve been rooting for them to tie the knot for the last two films, but I’m sorry, I couldn’t do that.
I actually groaned when he began pursuing her at their godchild’s christening. It might be because I’ve been watching so much horrible backsliding on Gilmore Girls lately, but I hated that they spent the night together after the awful way he’d treated her when they were a couple. I wanted Bridget to have a bit more self-control than that. I mean, the man was still married and he’d treated her very poorly.
Why’d you do it, Bridget? Why?
I was hoping it’d just be chalked up to one night of bad decisions–that she’d realize the two of them could never work out based on their past. It would have been nice for her to finally accept that it’s over and that Mark Darcy would never really be able to be there for her.
Unfortunately, the movie had a weird point to make about online dating.
In steps Jack, the match-making guru who uses an algorithm to figure out if people are compatible. Unsurprisingly, he and Bridget are compatible; Bridget and Mark are not. Again and again throughout the movie, we hear that Bridget and Jack are perfect for each other on paper. Of course, it doesn’t matter that they have genuine chemistry and he’s a sweetie pie. She has history with Mark and–even though they aren’t a good match based on an algorithm–we are supposed to believe they are meant for each other.
Oh please! Bridget and Mark dated for an extended amount of time. Much of that time, Bridget spent both alone and lonely. Mark’s had a failed marriage–most likely because he’s a workaholic with bad relationship skills (and not because he’s meant to be with Bridget). Sure, an algorithm’s just an algorithm, but math has a point here. Mark might be a good guy, but that doesn’t mean he’s the best guy for Bridget.
Jack, on the other hand, was supportive and in for the adventure with Bridget. He might have been a bit competitive when it came to being a prospective daddy, but he was genuinely happy to go along with the ride and be there whenever she needed him. He was the one bringing her gifts, watching her diet, and helping her paint the baby’s room. He was the one there for her when the other possible dad was taking work calls and ditching Bridget when he was led to believe he wasn’t the father. Sure, some of that was Jack’s fault, but maybe, Mark could have talked to Bridget before jumping to conclusions and abandoning her.
I’m sorry. I’m Team Jack–which means, of course, Bridget couldn’t end up with Jack. (I always seem to back the dark horse.) In the end, Bridget walks down the aisle with Mark and carries around Mark’s baby around the reception. We’re all supposed to be happy for the fact that love (and not math) won out, but I was just confused about everything.
Why are we supposed to believe Mark and Bridget will be happy this time around? Why was Jack at the wedding if the baby wasn’t his? Why, most importantly, was this film so hostile toward tech and online dating.
It’s ridiculous how weirdly combative a Rom-Com made in 2016 is toward technology. I got a strong “KIDS THESE DAYS WITH THEIR TINDER AND THEIR SMARTPHONES!” vibe from the film–which was off-putting because I think the only way Rom-Coms have a chance of surviving as a subgenre is by their creators accepting that people do meet and fall in love in different ways now. Bridget Jones’s Baby rages against the machine and makes it’s ending unpalatable in the process.
On the whole, Bridget Jones’s Baby is passable as Rom-Coms go but only because there are some real doozies out there. I’ll be sticking with the original Bridget Jones’s Diary and choosing to ignore the fact that this one ever happened.
What Rom-Com characters do you think should have ended up together but didn’t?