Rated R. Running time: 2 hours 3 min.
Our content ratings (1-10): Violence 7; Language 2; Sex/Nudity 2.
Our star rating (1-5): 3.5
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Solomon 8:7
It is fairly late in her life—the film begins on her 43rd birthday—before our favorite bumbling single London gal finds the deep love celebrated by the sensual Solomon. Indeed, on her way to motherhood, which will expand her capacity to love, Bridget is offered the unselfish love of two men, either of which would make a highly suitable mate. It is the filmmakers’ unfortunate acceptance of the current practice of sexual promiscuity that leads to her dilemma of discovering who is the father of the fetus in her womb.
While attending a musical festival with Miranda (Sarah Solemani), friend and anchorwoman at the TV studio where they both work, Bridget has a one-night stand with Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), a charismatic motivational guru. A few weeks later, at a christening ceremony of a mutual friend’s baby she encounters old flame Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who informs her that he is splitting from his wife. Of course, they are drawn together again so powerfully that they engage in sex, and then do nt see each other for some time. When Bridget discovers that the cause of her weight gain is pregnancy, she cannot be certain of who is the father.
The sequence in which, with the connivance of her pediatrician (delightfully played by Emma Thompson), each potential father waits in a different room, is filled with machinations that are very funny. Also very tender are the scenes when each of the possible fathers, getting over his surprise and, not knowing about the other because of Bridget’s failure to tell them the whole story, pledges his support by offering to marry her. The funniest sequence of all—the theater filled with the audience’s laughter—comes near the end when, the two men, now aware of her duplicity and having broken away from her—come back into her life when her water breaks. Thwarted by a traffic jam on the way to the hospital, the three have to set out on foot, the two men having to take turns carrying her to the emergency room.
“All’s well that ends well” in this 3rd of the Jones series, with original director Sharon Maguire and original scriptwriter Helen Fielding returning after the disappointing sequel. Although as a person of faith I would not recommend this admittedly laughter-generating comedy to a youth group, Bridget hardly being a worthy role model, I was swept along by the antics of the excellent cast, headed by Sandra Bullock, but also was always aware that it was a romantic fantasy and not a slice of real life that was unfoling on the wide screen. The plot was complicated, but the results of promiscuous sex in the real world are even more so, often not ending on such a high note. Despite my qualms, this is a film a group of young adults could enjoy discussing almost as much as watching it.
This review with a set of discussion questions will be in the October issue of Visual Parables.