MOVIES & BOOZE: Heading to the cinema this weekend?

Sarina Bellissimo reviews this week's hot releases...

Sarina Bellissimo joins Sean Moncrieff for this week's Movies & Booze to review the new Bridget Jones and new Irish flick The Young Offenders...

Review: Bridget Jones’ Baby

Dear Diary,

It’s been 15 years since I have wanted to be best friends with Bridget Jones (Renee Zellwegger). That all happened after I saw Bridget bare her soul, big undies and life goals in “Bridget Jones’ Diary”.

It’s been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones’ film (“The Edge of Reason”).

The love affair had a bit of a bumpy patch after The Edge of Reason, but Diary, I do hope everything gets back on track after seeing “Bridget Jones’ Baby”.

I’m both excited and nervous to see this film. I really want it to be good.

Sarina.

*** goes to watch the film ***

Dear Diary,

It’s been a couple of hours since I saw “Bridget Jones’ Baby” and I have to say, I want to be her best friend again!

So much has happened since we last saw Bridget. While so much remains the same – she still has her best mates; is still getting into awkward situations at work; - so much has changed. She and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) are no longer together, there’s no sign of Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and now she’s pregnant!

She’s thrilled with the news, but there’s one catch. She has no idea who the father is.
Did it happen after her fabulous, festival fling with the gorgeous, American billionaire, Jack (Patrick Dempsey), or was it as a result of her rendezvous with Mark Darcy?

Ordinarily, in a sequel, I wouldn’t really care much because usually the heart and soul of the film has long gone and it’s only being made to bring in more guaranteed cash for the studios.

Well Diary, that wasn’t the case with this film. It has everything that made me fall for Bridget and her life in the first place, yet it’s back bigger and better than ever!

Yes, there’s another love triangle but it was ingenious not to bring Hugh Grant’s Daniel back and introduce us to Patrick Dempsey’s Jack. In doing this, there was a freshness brought to the film without altering the formula that worked!

It was great to catch up with her family and friends. While they don’t all feature as heavily as they did in the first film, it’s nice to know that they are still a massive part of Bridget’s life. It’s a true depiction of what happens with friendships as you get older, while you may not see each other every day, and even though so much has changed in life, their friendship is still the same and as important to them as it was at the very beginning.

Bringing in Emma Thompson as a writer and actor (she plays Bridget’s Doctor in the film) was just what was needed. Emma’s wit, sarcasm and brilliance fit right in.

People say that a baby changes everything. I’m happy to say that while a baby has brought changes to Bridget’s life, it hasn’t changed our girl. She still represents the everyday woman. I cheered with her, felt for her (some people cried with her), and I laughed with, and sometimes at, her. There were a couple of times that I thought I would get thrown out of the cinema for almost screaming with laughter, but then I realised that I couldn’t be heard over everyone else’s laughs.

“Bridget Jones’ Baby” is laugh out loud funny and, just like Bridget, awkwardly brilliant! It’s great to have her back!

Review: The Young Offenders

Imagine this, €440million worth of cocaine washes up on the West Cork coast. The Guards swoop in and get all the bales of cocaine bar one. One that’s forever lost - or that’s what the Guards think.

When Jock (Chris Walley) realises there’s a bale of cocaine worth €7million still floating around, he convinces his mate, Conor (Alex Murphy), that it would be a great idea to cycle all those miles to recover it and become instant millionaires. The lads have nothing to lose and all to gain. You see, if they don’t get caught, they get to escape their poor lives but if they are caught, nothing will happen to them as they’re under 18 and the courts go easy on ‘young offenders’. Sounds like a ingenious plan, what could possibly go wrong?

Irish film and television is having a renaissance at the moment. The films being made don’t have Hollywood budgets but are as, and sometimes even more, entertaining than ones that do.

Inspired by the event that happened in the West of Cork in 2007, Peter Foott has written and directed a hilarious comedy. You would never think that this is Peter’s feature film debut and that he shot this on a budget of €130,000.

You would also never think that the lads who are tasked with carrying this film, Chris and Alex, are first timers. If you go to their IMDB page the only reference to acting is this film. In Graham Norton’s words, “A classic double act is born!” Their chemistry, acting ability and comedic timing is spot on.

Chris and Alex are supported by comedic pros, PJ Gallagher, who has us laughing as soon as he hits the screen; Hilary Rose, who proves that she is more than the outlandish, OTT characters we’ve seen her play on TV. She brings the warmth and heart to this film; and Dominic McHale plays the long suffering Guard perfectly!

The other character in this film is Cork. It’s good to see an Irish film set in a city that is not Dublin, and a film that is going against the grain. Even though the lads’ lives are sometimes grim, Ireland doesn’t come across that way – it is beautiful, vibrant and full of character, just like this film!

It’s refreshing to walk into a comedy, be drawn in and start laughing from the get go. It’s not even just a giggle - this is what you call a laugh out loud comedy. Go see “The Young Offenders”, not just because it’s Irish and we should support our own, but because you’ll have a great time at the cinema!