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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

entry arrow6:46 PM | A Singleton Finds a Good Ending

I watched Sharon Maguire's Bridget Jones's Baby (2016) because I thought it was going to be nostalgia fodder, and nothing more, for my 20s. Has it been that long? Yes. But the film proved to be funny and witty, and also a gentle reassurance, especially for people my age, that life deepens and starts, really, in your 40s. It is a worthy successor to the 2001 original and the 1996 Helen Fielding novel, and makes the brilliant choice to wilfully forget the 2004 sequel (that one helmed by Beeban Kidron) and the last two Fielding novels (where she kills off Darcy). There is great satisfaction watching Renée Zellweger return to an iconic role with cheerful humility and gusto, and flaunting the wrinkly truths about getting older with comic panache. All the hijinks of the original -- the earnest chronicling of a singleton's shenanigans, the bumbling presentation that derails Bridget's professional life, the mischief of good friends and the quirkiness of parents, the comical duel of the men in Bridget's life -- return but sharpened with 40-something reality: people are having babies, the biological clock is ticking, life is unsensational beyond the glowing ending of a romance story, and Emma Thompson makes for a great gynaecologist. The titular baby itself -- with the question of whether Colin Firth's Mark Darcy or Patrick Dempsey's Jack Qwant is the father being the plot's driving conflict -- serves more or less as a device for this eternal truth: the heart wants what it wants. I hope people get to watch this movie. It's not everyday we get romantic comedy this good. It's a difficult genre to pull off, and most directors muck it up, plus it doesn't get the same critical consideration of manlier subject matters. I laughed so hard from beginning to end. It was more than worth it.

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