2.5 out of 5 stars
In the scheme of things, there is nothing terribly wrong with the 3rd instalment of the Bridget Jones franchise. No doubt an improvement from the last disastrously unfunny and narratively messy Edge of Reason, and wisely harking back to the original, the film sparks and develops organically when it concentrates on the A-plot and the love triangle between Jones, Mark Darcy and American Hugh Grant substitute – a role that Patrick Dempsey plays with easy charm. It is a rom-com after all, and if the film is just that, I would have been happy with it, contrivances (of which there aren’t that many anyway) and all. Unfortunately, the film wants to do more and the other subplots, particularly those that take place at work, come across as unnecessary padding, with dated references that feels like watching a re-run of an aging 00’s sitcom. On top of that, whoever is in charge of the musical cues should have been tied down and given lessons in subtlety. The first gag with All By Myself is a good inspired callback but it goes downhill from there. In the end, you feel like they are just picking songs from one of those generic Girls Night Out compilations and they become intrusive and bloody obvious. Otherwise, it is actually a perfectly serviceable rom-com. It is certainly broad and undemanding of its audience but it was far from annoying and in fact, it is immensely fun (with a big dosh of nostalgia) watching the gang back together again.