Bridget Jones's Baby is the 3rd installment of the Bridget Jones' saga.
The first one was thoroughly enjoyable. Second, likable. The third and latest released September 2016 and I absolutely hated it.
The movie made me angry. I stopped watching three times before I finally finished it. When the final credits finish rolling I almost gave it two stars. Instead, I gave it three, so not to confuse the Netflix's recommendation algorithm.
The next morning, while brushing my teeth, I thought about the movie again. I stopped brushing and asked myself,
"Why did you hate that movie so much?"
It's a romantic comedy for goodness sake, I thought. If there's any genre I enjoy more than thrillers, it's RomCom and Action RomCom. But here we have Bridget Jones in all her goofiness and I'm angry.
After celebrating her 43rd birthday with wrinkles to prove it, Bridget goes to a Glastonbury-like music festival where she has unprotected sex with a stranger. We later find out he's tech billionaire, Jack Qwant.
A week later she meets up with her former boyfriend, Human Rights barrister Mark Darcy, for a second time, at a baby christening. The first time they saw each other, after a long hiatus, was at the funeral of Bridget’s former lover and Mark’s nemesis, Daniel Cleaver. At the christening. both are serving as god parents and it seems to reignite their old feelings. Later, they find themselves in bed after Mark reveals he’s getting a divorce. They have sex but the morning after, Bridget decides she doesn’t want to continue the dance the two have been dancing for the last 13 years.
In an unexpected twist, the dance becomes a Do-Si-Do country hoedown for three as Bridget finds herself pregnant. She doesn’t know whether the father is Jack or Mark.
By the time, we reach this point in the film, I'm angry with her and everyone affiliated with this plot. In fact, I targeted my anger on white women. Yep, lovable Bridget Jones became #everywhitewomen and Helen Reddy was singing the anthem.
No, not the Chaka Khan anthem. #everywhitewomen, you don't get Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston, to sing your anthem.
Then as I'm seething, I realized my anger arose from jealousy.
I noticed there's not one black woman in this flick. And the black women's absence becomes conspicuous and an ugly reminder that an unwed black woman who doesn't know who fathered her baby is an ugly societal meme.
Black woman's absence is reminder that, "It's a White thing", and a black woman just wouldn't understand.
Because as a black woman, I'm not allowed to be frail, clumsy, forgetful or even inept. I, as a black woman, must be twice as strong, twice as smart, and expected to shoulder the problems of the world with grace...
But, in the immortal words of Elaine Benes, (a character on the show Seinfeld where there's also an absence of black people except for Attorney Jackie Chiles)
"Alright, alright, look, I don't have grace. I don't want grace... I don't even say grace, OK?
Then I took a breath.
When I saw Bridget's two baby-daddies carry her through the streets because she could no longer walk, due to labor pains, I got mad at my whiter than white ex-husband. Hindsight had me thinking he married me because he thought I was a strong black woman. When he found out I only played one in music videos it frustrated him. He said,
"You don't know how to struggle!"
I wondered, why should I? Is "struggle" a dance I should know? Or did he believe struggle-mode is the standard for every black woman?
Even though Bridget Jones exists in the mind of the writer, watching this movie. I wondered how this imperfect specimen of a woman deserved the love of a high-profile publisher, barrister and a tech billionaire. Were these men so emotionally weak they needed a woman who appeared to be dumb enough to lock her belongings in a ATM alcove. Especially since she knew she couldn't retrieve them because only minutes before, the ATM confiscated her access card!
Why is it that this type of woman attracts the most dashing men, I wondered? Men; some black women call, "Captain-Save-a-H*s!
Then Mark's montage memories of Bridget rolled. And I finally understood.
Maybe, these men weren't weak. Maybe, they just enjoyed being around and caring for Bridget because she forgave herself for her shortcomings. Bridget knew she was far from perfect, but in her quest to be one of those "perfect women”, she forgave herself.
Short of the funeral, christening and wedding, there's not much talk of religion but Bridget lives as if she's covered by grace.
And she affords all who come into her world to forgive themselves their transgressions, too.
GRACE is so powerful, it is in the top 1% of look-ups on Merriam-Webster.
The word denotes divine assistance, approval, favor, privilege; a disposition of or to act in the instance of kindness, forgiveness, clemency; beauty, charm, ease and suppleness; a short prayer giving thanks; a melodic note, three goddess sisters (plural); sense of propriety or right, quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.
My visceral reaction had nothing to do with the movie; but it spokes volumes of my perspective. Like Elaine, I saw grace and ran the other way. Learning to love and be easy with yourself is rarely taught or implied.
Instead, some of us are taught the way to achieve acceptance is through perfection.
The further away from the ideal we get, the sadder we get. Sometimes that sadness turns into anger. For some, it can be depression and guilt.
Yet, there's a tool available to all of us when fail miserably at being perfect.
Grace isn't something bestowed, in the sense it's only for the select few. When you look at the definition, it's easy to see grace is something we all can choose, accept and share.
I'm glad I gave "Bridget Jones's Baby” 3 stars. I might go back and give it 4. It's not often a silly little movie can give birth to a brand-new outlook.
Source: Grace / Merriam-Webster
Thank you for reading!
Originally Posted at Melhopkinsdotcom