September 22, 2016
Americans have failed to sufficiently appreciate “Bridget Jones’s Baby”
by Taylor Sperry
“Bridget Jones’s Baby”—the third installment in the film franchise based on Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones novels—isn’t doing as well in the US as it’s done in the UK.
There, according to Tristram Fane Saunders at the Telegraph, the movie is breaking national records and earned a solid £8.11 million in its opening weekend. “In America, however, it’s a different story,” Saunders writes. “The film only climbed up to the third place in the US charts.”
Only! Third place doesn’t seem so shabby. More surprising, though, is the suggestion that the film is less popular here because certain Britishisms “could be a stumbling-block for American audiences and readers.”
Saunders also quotes an American study (!) by Dr. Kelly Marsh, of Mississippi State University, arguing that Bridget’s “self-deprecating view of her life runs counter to American cultural norms” and that Americans have trouble with, in Saunders’s words, “a loveable shambles” who, in Marsh’s, “refuses the model of efficient consumer.”
Let’s not overthink this. Couldn’t it just be that a fifteen-year-old film franchise based on a twenty-year-old book series has simply gone the way of most sequels and lost a bit of its sheen?
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.