For weeks after the trailer and promotional posters dropped, I didn’t bother to engage this movie. I knew already I would not be interested in going to theaters because I gave the Bridget Jones series a chance and I was unimpressed to say the least.
Also, I felt the movie wasn’t for me, as most movies churned out by Hollywood aren’t. Movies mass produced by Hollywood hold steadfast to this white-washing idea that a ‘white experience’ is a universal one. Despite that I chose to hold my reservations and give it a chance. Don’t worry, there won’t be many spoilers.
Bridget Jones is a middle-aged, single British white woman fumbling her way through life, self-image issues (constantly bemoaning her weight even though she looks completely fine), and the seemingly endless agony of being single. I won’t sit here and pretend that single is easy or painless because it isn’t for some people; however, as much of the Bridget Jones franchise is contingent on her attachment to a significant other, it often feels Bridget is incapable of seeing herself as a whole, complete person without a man. This is driving force in rom-coms so this formula cannot be broken it seems.
In Bridget Jones’s Baby, she is still single but now she is pregnant between two men: the Yankee Patrick Dempsey and her love Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Somewhere in between she has sex with both of them & now does not know which one of them could be the father.
When I chose to read up on this movie, I was filled with a sudden rage but then I was tired. In a lot of ways, yes, I am glad this movie is not for me because a Black woman could never be in a movie in which she was pregnant behind two men, one she only recent met. Black women are already hyper-sexualized and fetishized. Non black men give themselves pats on the back for dating us. Black women are often portrayed in such limiting movie roles: the Mammy, the tragic mulatto, the exotic mistress, etc. A story about a black, single woman in her 40’s now pregnant between two men could make it to the box office, but most likely would never be as successful as the Bridget Jones franchise because black women are not seen as relatable or universal and Internet would have a field day over a black woman with ‘baby daddy issues’.
Bridget is given the space to be messy, immature, erratic, and wildly uncoordinated for someone her age. She is a white woman given the space to find her confidence in her 40’s. Confidence, or man, they seem to be interchangeable in this film. Single mothers in pop culture are often portrayed as economically unstable, too young, non-white, and most likely the person who impregnated them is either gone or does not wish to be found. There are put on display to be examined and gawked at or ridiculed in the case of trash day time talk shows such as Maury or Jerry Springer. They are definitely not portrayed as human with complex lives and difficult, relatable backgrounds.
A rich, single white woman normalizes “baby daddy issues” and makes farce out of unsafe sex between multiple partners, emphasis on the unsafe sex part because the only interesting thing I’ve seen about this movie is that she has a strong sexual appetite and sees no problem with sharing her other people. A rich, white woman does it and suddenly it is acceptable. Movie-worthy even.
There is also the issues of how heteronormative these types of films are, but all that can be summed up to how antiquated and safe these kinds of movies are. I will still watch this film when it’s available online because it’s rare to see a woman engage in physical humor as well situational instances, but Bridget Jones’s Baby doesn’t give me reason to hold my breath for something exciting or revolutionary.