The POC pet friend

On the app Jodel, an app for students to share thoughts anonymously, I had the strangest discussion the other day: It started out with the question if you could be in a relationship with a very right-wing person if you were a very liberal person. Aka: Could you share a bed with a racist in a long term romantic relationship if you were anti-racist.
For me, the answer was a clear no. No, I could not be in a committed relationship with a racist, and for that matter neither a convinced sexist, homophobe, transphobe or xenophobe or literally anyone that was against basic human rights and basic respect for a certain group of people. Yes, that also includes people who'd want to see Drumpf dead. You just don't do that shit.
As it happens so very often in online discussions, of course this one as well turned to a pretty different topic soon: A person who described themselves as Mediterranean explained how they went to homepartys quite a lot and they tended to be the only non-white person there - in an anti-racist group of friends.
Quickly, a new discussion started, between those who were convinced that most anti-racist people had no POC friends even though they were against racism, and those including me who thought that was rubbish and that you can just as well be against racism if your group of friends was 100% white.
Now let me be clear: I do have POC friends. Yet, I didn't pick those friendships because those people fit into my plan for diversity amongst the people I deal with. Instead, I just met them somewhere at some point somehow and got to know them and started liking them. Because they are awesome people. And so are my white friends. I mean, why would I deal with anyone who wasn't awesome? Because their race matched my personal anti-racism agenda?
What I am saying is: Friendships need to develope naturally. And by that, I mean that you meet people in your day to day life, that could be in class or at work or in your sports club or because you have a friend in common who introduces you or because you start chatting about your favourite TV show online or because you start talking on a train ride or - the possibilities are endless. And then step two is getting to know each other, which is maintained through keeping in touch. Then, you have to click a certain way to actually like each other. This is how friendship works. You see how none of these steps is "check which skincolour that person has"? You know why? Because it doesn't matter when it comes to being open for new people.
The other way around, if I don't click with someone, I don't click with someone. If I have a problem with someone as a person, I don't care how POC they are. Or white, for that matter.
However, I'll still fight for their rights. I'll fight for the guy at the train station who called me racist because I was too broke to give him any change so he isn't deported back to where he came from just because he isn't born here. I'll fight for the refugee mom who didn't show up for any meetings we set up to help her get furniture. I'll fight for the dudes who sexually assaulted women at the main station in Cologne on last new years eve to get the same process and treatment as any German person who sexually assaults people. Because this is what my moral compass tells me. That every person deserves the same basic human rights.
There are so many reasons why someone may not have any POC friends. The only one that is not okay is if you refuse to get to know POC because you have stereotypes and prejudice stuck in your head and refuse to learn better.
Thing is, if you have a very diverse group of friends only for the sake of diversity, are you any better than the ones who refuse to have diverse friends? Wouldn't it be exactly the same as having the alibi black friend so you are allowed to say racist things because you "can't be racist because you have a black friend!"? Wouldn't it be like having an accesoire to make you look more liberal?
I think what truly matters is who you're actively fighting for even if you don't know them personally. Or if you disike them as a person. I'd rather have a person whose friends are 100% white who'd actively fight racism where they find it than a person who has the most POC friends and settles down at that.
So from this point, I'll go on and accept friendship where I find it. Might be in my super-white class. Might be at the multi-cultural festival. I don't care, if we click, we click. Because when if comes to friendship, that might be the only point where I dare to say: I don't see colour. I see friends.


Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them - Review

As a die-hard Harry Potter fan who has read every single book about the wizard world at least once, from the very first "Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much" to the last "So do I" (yes, the last line of Cursed Child is a bit unspectacular), of course I was thrilled when I heard there would be a new movie series about J. K. rowlings magical world. Harry Potter was the book series that got me into binge-reading little libraries worth of books, starting a long line of things happening in my life that ends with me now doing a job I couldn't be happier with. To me, as to so many of us, Harry Potter means the world.

Now, 5 years after the last movie closed this world to us, we got Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Now when I say I read everything there is to read about Harry Potter, of course that includes Fantastic Beasts, a tiny book by J. K. Rowling published with Comic Relief in 2001. That book was made as the text book by Newt Scamander Harry, Ron and Hermoine used at Hogwarts to learn about magical creatures, so it was more of an encyclopedia, non-fiction, nothing with a story. Accordingly, while I was thrilled, I was also sceptical (yes, I tend to be), how were they going to make a movie from a text book? Let alone five movies?
I was fearing this to be just a way to get more money out of us loving Harry Potter fans who (let's face it) would pay for everything allowing us to live in this world a little longer.

Boy was I wrong.

It's easy to say that seing the Warner Bros. logo on the big theater screen plus hearing the oh-so-well-known melody equals one trip back down fan feeling lane, but actually, it is the story and the characters that fully convinced me.
We got young Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a British wizard, arriving in the USA by ship with a suitcase that wiggles around oddly. On his way through New York, he comes across a gathering of muggles, sorry, no-majs, in front of a bank listening to a woman trying to convince them about wizards and witches existing amongst them and that they should be hunted down and be killed. While he listens to her, a creature escapes from his suitcase: A niffler, a small, rodent-like creature with a long snout, black fur, and a kangaroo-like pouch to collect shiny things in. That's why it escaped, there are a lot of shiny things in banks, and Newt chases after it to get it back in the suitcase.
In the bank, he meets no-maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). Kowalski wants to apply for a credit to open up his own bakery, and he has a suitcase very simmilar to Newts. Sadly, since he has no security he could offer to the bank, his apply gets rejected. On his way out, he stumbles over Newt again and in a quick turn of events they are inside a bank safe surrounded by security guards and Kowalski knows a bit more about magic than he should. They escape, and Newt tries to obliterate him, but Kowalski defends himself and escapes yet again - with the wrong suitcase. This is where Newt meets Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a witch who arrest him immediately and takes him to the MACUSA (the American Ministry of Magic), where we find out that she is actually an ex-auror. When they find out that the suitcases got mixed up, they go find Kowalski, who has already been bitten by one of Newts creatures. Tina and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), a legilimens (mind-reader), take them in and the four of them start searching for the creatures that Kowalski let escape the suitcase.

Meanwhile, New York has another magical problem, one even wizards can't really explain, let alone no-majs: A giant dark shadow destroys streets and buildings and even kills. Maybe Newt with his expertise of magical creatures may be able to help?

While in the Harry Potter movies, we had the joy of watching a young wizard learn to control his power and learn what can be done with it, now we see this power put to daily use. The awkward tries of the pupils were funny to watch, but seeing fully trained wizards and witches apparate through the town is a lot more fascinating - expecially since it seems to be no big deal, everyone can do it. Everything else would feel wrong in my opinion, so I am glad they actually did it like this.
A lovely detail is the menagerie Newt has in the depths of his suitcase: He has creatures of every size and type down there, from tiny bowtruckles to majestic thunderbirds, and he does his best to give them an appropriate home down there. His love for his creatures is contageous!
And last but not least: romance! While Tina and Newt really take it cool and develope more of a friendship rather than an actual romance right-away, Queenie and Jacob have their love at the first sight story and it actually works! Admittedly, it is very cheesy, but it doesn't seem a tad unrealistic and is explained very well.

When I left the cinema, I was crying tears of joy. As many as I cried when I got my job two years ago, to put it in comparison. And I didn't stop crying for the whole night, because I felt so at home, so welcome back to J. K. Rowlings magical world. So, in conclusion, I do not at all regret seeing Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them on the big screen and I'll take the next four ones with open arms. Hell, I'd take dozens of them if they are half as good as this one! So I reccomend watching it, may it be because you love Harry Potter or because you love one of the already well-known actors in the movie or because you love animals, just please watch it!


Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children - Review

Writing a review about a movie adaption of a book is never easy. There will always be people who compare the movie to the book and most of the time, they hate the movie, and there will always be people who prefer to see the movie as an individual piece of media and judge it based in that. Thus, I could write for one of those groups now, either comparing or just completely ignoring that there is a book to start with. I decided to do both, sort of.

First of all, I really enjoyed the book. It is one of the best pieces of fantasy I have read in quite some time, and that truly means something given that I've come to realize due to my job as a bookseller that the genre of fantasy is overall pretty uncreative. There's a good guy, there's a bad guy, the good guy fights the bad guy and gets the girl, you know, because he's the good guy. Genders may vary, even though usually still heteronormative.

Compared to that, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was a refreshing bliss. Yes, there are still the good guys and the bad guys. And the main good guy (called protagonist by some people) gets the girl. But the overall idea is fairly innovative.
The good guys are the Peculiars. Peculiars are people with special abilities like being free from gravity or being invisible or being able to manipulate time. The latter are called ymbrynes, and they're always women and also able to transform into birds, which is pretty neat. The ymbrynes have taken the task to look after young peculiars and keep them save in time loops.
The bad guys are the Hollows and Wights. Hollows are corrupted peculiars who wanted to use the ymbrynes to make themselves immortal but like everything, immortality comes with a price and thus now they are deformed monsters who are invisible to most people (and Peculiars). In order to gain a human form again, they have to eat Peculiars. Then, they become Wights, basically human, but easily recognizable by their eyes which are completely white.
When he was younger, the protagonist Jake heard about the peculiars in stories his grandfather told him. When Jake grew up, he started to believe that none of that would be true and propably a metaphor for his grandfathers life back in World War II, being a jewish refugee from Poland saved by Miss Peregrine and her home for children.
When his grandfather dies under mysterious circumstances he gives Jake a few strange clues. No one believes in what Jake saw that night, everyone thinks he is traumatized by what happened and very fragile. Yet, he manages to convince his parents to go visit Cairnholm, the tiny island in Wales where Miss Peregrines Home for Children is located. There, he gets into the time loop Miss Peregrine made for September 3rd 1940, the day Wales got bombed, and meets all the people he thought were fairy tale characters, and his life changes forever - because he can see the hollows.

Ransom Riggs wrote his story around old photos he started collecting as a hobby, odd pictures of people long dead. All the photos and handwritten letters and drawings that illustrate the book make it a masterpiece and I recommend that everyone who is interested in history and likes to read slightly scary fantasy novels - please, please go read it!

So much for the book (yes, this is where things are going south).
When I finished the book, I went to see the movie. Since I read a movie-tie-in version (don't judge me, that was the one available right away), I already noticed from the movie pictures in the back that there were quite a few changes: Characters switched whole roles (two of them only kept their names but switched powers and personality), characters were made younger, and Eva Green looked quite different than the Miss Peregrine described in the books. Yet, I thought I'd give it a chance since I don't mind minor changes from the book too much.
I feel like the story was rushed very much in the movie. The book takes a lot of time for Jake to try and figure out wether or not what he's seen is real or imagination, and given that he IS in fact traumatized (of course he is) I would have wished for a bit more mental health care for him in the movie as well since dealing with trauma is an important topic of the book and for actual real life people who might be in the audience. Another thing that was rushed was Jakes relationship with Emma (a pyrokinese girl in the book, a airbending girl in the movie). The book took a lot of time for this relationship to grow naturally, Emma being sceptical at first of Jake, Jake being reluctant to date a girl who used to date his grandfather (remember, we're in a time loop), both being shy around each other and so on. That was something I really enjoyed while reading. In the movie, no one is sceptical, and basically, they kiss because they are a girl and a boy so they naturally have to (insert looooong moan here). The characters in general seem very much set in their personalities and thus, the movie is lacking some serious character developement. Dear hollywood, this is the fun part of a story!
Overall, everything seems a little over the top, especially Miss Peregrine who talks like a puppet and keeps staring at everyone like she is about to eat them.
The end was propably designed in case there was no second movie made, thus, we get an admittedly funny final fight between the Peculiars and the Wights and Hollows, yet, it seems a bit like Kevin from Home Alone dealing with the Wet Bandits: Nice booby traps, but given their enemies are supposed to be actually dangerous and deadly, I'd expected a more epic show-down.

Briefly, I'd say: The movie on it's own is okay, as a movie adaption it's a shame. Please, do yourself a favour and either read the book before seeing the movie or do not let the movie stop you from reading the book. It is actually A LOT better.


So what do we do now? - Thoughts about the presidential election

No, this is not a review, even though, if I had to review the presidential election, that'd be a 2/5 stars from me, the two stars being for the enthusiasm and the awareness for the situation I have seen around the internet so much in the last few months, be it amongst my friends or complete strangers: Dear people who care - thank you. I am proud of you. Also, for Hillary Clinton, simply for not punching Donald Trump in the face for the way he spoke about her right to her face during the debates and instead just smiling and being polite and professional - I respect that so much, because I propably would have beaten up Trump a long time ago, or at least yelled quite a few not so nice things.

Now that we made clear what I think of the winner of the election, let me explain from what point of view I am writing all of this and make my opinions: A pretty privileged one. I am a young white woman, so that's 1/2 privilege points so far, I have a job that pays me enough to live on my own (2/3), I am pansexual (2/4, we're going down a bit), and I am living in Germany (and the privilege counter goes through the roof). Yes, I am not American. I have never been to the United States so far. Yet, I do care a lot about your election. Why is that?

First of all: I care about people. I care about basic human rights for everone. And when I say everyone, I mean it. I don't need you to be my friend or relative to acknowledge your rights as a human, and it doesn't have to affect me in any way, as long as a problem affects you, whereever you are on this planet, I'll care. Given this, yes, I do care a lot about the presidential election in America. Period.

Secondly: That kind of negates my first point - it will affect me. It will affect the whole world. The USA are still one of the most powerful countries in the world. And, speaking from a German point of view, since we have a lot of trading going on with the USA, it is quite important for us what happens to their economy - because if America hits a new recession, we're going down with them.

So far, so (not) good.
I don't think I have to repeat all the PSAs, friendly or not so friendly reminders etc. that explained very well the effect it could have, will have, and already does have on minorities in America having Trump elected. We all (should) know that by now, and I am really not down for too much repetition, especially since those arguments didn't really seem to change anyones mind before the election already. Instead, let's talk about what happens to the ones privileged, the ones that are not minorities - because that's what some people seem to care about exclusively.

Trump stated that in the first hundred days in office, he will "cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama" (You can find the full "Contract with the American voter" here). This does include rights for LGBTQ+ folks, like trans* people using the bathroom that fits their gender or same-sex couples taking extend family-leave, it includes the ban on deportation for children that came to the US illegally, this includes the order to the CIA to ban certain interrogation techniques. All, in my opinion, things that simply push human rights, and thus good things. But things that do not effect non-minorities and people outside of the US. What's in for us?

First big point is health care. The Affordable Care Act is essential for a lot of people, white people as well, since it makes health care a lot more doable for non-wealthy people. It is controverse though due to the tax increase that comes with it. I HAVE to comment on this from a German point of view: it is beyond me how it can be controversial to pay a bit more in taxes so you and everyone else around you can go to the hospital if you need to without worrying to be in debt for the next few years. If I had a heartattack right now, here in Germany, I could call an ambulance, get to the hospital, have a stand operation, stay in the hospital while it's healing, stay at home for a while after that until I am good to go again - and it would all have been taken care of financially. I'd not have the second heartattack when I got the bill because I don't get one. If I was in the United States, I would absolutely think twice if I'd call an ambulance. Or even a taxi to the hospital. I'd have second thoughts if my being alive was worth thousands of dollars. Seriously. How does it work here? Overall, 15,5% of what the person makes in a month is paid to the health insurance company, 8,2% is taken away directly from your wage, 7,3% is paid by your employer on top of the wage they're paying you. Means, if I'd work 40 hours a week for minimum wage (8.50 € an hour in Germany right now), I'd have an overall wage of roughly 1457 € a month and would pay 119.50 € of that for the insurance per month, that's 130 $. Means, if I just put that money away every month and saved it for bad times, I could afford a 15-minute ambulance ride once a year - but just the trip, not actually getting treated at the hospital. So now, every person here has to pay those 8,3% regardless of their health status. Obviously, if you make more money, you're paying more. Now here's the point: Even if you don't have a job, or have only a part-time contract, or are a child and so on - if you only have a check-up at the doctors or have to go to the hospital because a car hit you, it will be taken care of. The sentiment is solidarity, because accidents and illness can happen to anyone. No one is safe from getting injured or ill. But we are safe from the debt that would come with it otherwise. We don't have to pay shitloads for not dying. And I really, really don't get why this isn't a universal thing.
So, back to the point: Americans don't have this universal health insurance, but with the Affordable Care Act, they have a realistic chance to have a pretty similar outcome - that is, not having to chose if you want to die or if you want to be in debt forever. And this might get taken away from you when Trump starts his presidency.

I already mentioned trades. This is where it get's really tricky. Trump stated that he wanted to boost the American economy inside the country, create jobs etc., which is, to be fair here, actually a very good thought. Jobs are needed. However, to accomplish that, he plans on either renegotiating or completely withdrawing from NAFTA (Northamerican Free Trade Agreement). That would most likely increase prices in America - and it is not a definite thing that it will, in fact, bring jobs back to America. So, tl;dr: Chances to have things become (even) more expensive - pretty damn high, guarantee to have more jobs available in America - ...eh.
He also plans on labeling China a currency manipulator (which, to be fair again, is true, but not necessarily a bad thing) and wants a 45% tariff for goods imported from China. The thing is, while China does, in fact, manipulate their currency (it's called Renminbi by the way) and keeps it low artificially, because of this goods from China are very cheap from an American point of view. So when Chinese goods get imported from the US, they are actually cheaper than American products. Thus, more affordable for the consumer. The same principle goes for the economical factor "work capacity", as in: people working for a company. This is why so many non-Chinese companies have their products produced in China - it's cheap. Plus what you have to pay your employees in America plus the profit for everyone involved and you have your price you sell the item for. Thing is: The wage for the employees in America will not change, nor will the taxes etc. and everything that a company will have to pay to bring their goods to the market. And, since we live in a capitalist society, the wanted profit that is part of the price sure as hell won't change as well. That means: If, instead of having factories in China and having Chinese workers produce their goods, companies had their factories in America and had American citizens work for them on every step of producing their goods, prices would increase. If. Because China is not the only country in this world where workers are cheap. So, again, you have no guarantee that the jobs would come back to America.
So far, this is mainly a problem for the poor people, the ones working minimum wage and more than one job to keep themselves alive. However, there's another problem to this, and that is the possible trade war Trump would start by this tariff policy. A trade war could lead to an American recession. And this is where it hits everyone, because this could lead to the next Great Depression.

And now, after those two big points, of course the environment is at risk as well, since Donald Trump believes climate change to be a hoax, following the idea of "I saw snow today so climate change is a hoax. I also just ate a hotdog, hunger is a lie."
Thing is, to tackle that idea right away: Climate change doesn't necessarily mean that it gets hotter overall. The term "Global warming" is misleading here. The change, for now, mostly lies within, well, the changes of season. Just two weeks ago, we had temperatures between 10 and 15°C where I live. Today, it was 1°C. The changes are quicker. More aprupt. That is what climate change is like right now.
He would like to cancel the Paris Agreement. The easier way to do that would be just not complying to commitment of the United States to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, since it is not legally binding. No, this would not be the end of the world and not the absolute huge catastrophe, but it would take a big step back from the worlds try to safe planet earth.

At this point, I would like to state that I am well aware that Hillary Clinton is not perfect. She is far from perfect. But while not only stating to plan on supporting minorities instead of making their lifes even worse, she simply is a lot less agressive in her politics, she thinks things through, she simply is a professional after working in politics for 30 years and she knows what to do and how to do it.

So what do we do now?

As a German and thus mainly committed to the politics that affect me and my fellow citizens directly, and the things I can actually do something about, I am worried about our election next year. With the AfD (Alternative for Germany), we have our own Trump kinda political party. So what do we do to keep them from winning? First of all, of course, actually go out and vote. Since we have our election on a Sunday and shops are closed on Sundays so most of us don't have to work then, we have much better chances to actually make it. If you are allowed to vote and are not working on that sunday from 8 to 6, you have no excuse. For the love of God please vote!
Secondly, please take no unneccesary risks. Choose the big party that makes you want to throw up least. For the love of god please don't vote for those small parties that have no chance of actually getting enough votes to at least form a coalition. The outcome will inevitably not make you 100% happy, so you can just as well make it not the worst. The most bearable.
And thirdly: Please inform. Knowledge is key. Read the AfDs programm (you can do that here) to know what you are about and be able to make solid, waterproof arguments. Especially take notice of stuff that is not just bad for people who hate minorities, because that kinda arguments don't help, they won't change their minds. Try to proof to them that they are at risk to lose as well if the AfD wins.

Now what about the USA... well, I am, in fact, not in the perfect position to give orders now, and that is definitely not what I want to do. I want to make suggestions. Not even that, I want to tell you what I would do if I was American and what I will do regardless of not being American.
The big point that actually made me write this post is an article I read about the Electoral College here, the thing that Trump was elected as president not by the people (popular vote) but will be by other people that somehow get a bigger say in this than everyone else. The fact that your vote counts more or less depending on where you live is absolutely un-democratic. This is a system failing it's people (and yes, I would have said that as well if Hillary Clinton won, even though I admit that I propably wouldn't know as much about the system then and wouldn't be as angry and definitely would have made this post half as long. I am just a human, okay?). So, if I were you, I'd protest against this. Not against Trump in particular (even though I support that as well), but against this system that made him president-elect even though more people voted for Clinton. It may be too late now. We somehow have to deal with it. But we can fight for an outcome like this not happening again. Because then, at least, the people would have spoken. Not a tiny part of the people. If there is anything I can do to help this cause, let me know! I promise to sign every petition and what not I come across, I'll participate in every demonstration in my area to change this, I will do what I can given that I am not geographically with you.
I will not tell you to go vote next time or not vote third party next time because I don't feel like the ones completely bummed out right now are the people who did this. I trust that everyone who read this did go vote and propably voted Hillary Clinton (except the ones writing an angry-ass comment telling me to kill myself right now below that, yes, I see you).
And besides having better chances next time: Please take care of each other. And with each other, I mean ALL each other. Yes, the main focus will be on POC, muslims, Mexicans, women and LGBTQ+, but don't leave out the ones who are hurting as well right now even though they may not be affected as badly as the minorities are. Try to comfort them as well. And, most importantly, don't let this election turn you into what Trump and his supporters see in you. Don't beat up Trump supporters, don't be mean to privileged people without reason (= just because they are privileged), try to stay kind - I know it is hard. Don't forget your morals.

This will be some shit 4 years and I pray to god that Trump can't do half the things he wants to do. I pray that it won't be as bad as it could be, because I feel like that's the only thing I can do now. I pray that the congress will hold him and Pence as well back from being their full potential of awefulness.
Remember, you are not worthless, you are loved, you matter, and you will get through this.

PS: If you feel like you can't make it, here is a site for suicide hotlines in every state and internationally.


"Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins - Review

Not everyone likes crime fiction. But that really doesn't mean you can't read them. For those who don't like classic detective stories „Girl on the train“ by Paula Hawkins is very good to go.

In „Girl on the train“ we observe a crime from three perspectives: Annas, a overly happy wife who just got her first child, Megans, the victim, and Rachels. Rachel is divorced, living with her room mate for far longer already than originally planned, she is an alcoholic and already lost her job because of her addiction. The one thing she has besides that are the daily train rides from the suburbs to London. On those rides the train always stops for a moment at the exact same pace and she can see a house through the window with an obviously very happy couple living there. She calls them Jess and Jason and builds an illusion around who those people are that she is only watching from afar and that mean so much to her. Until, one day, Rachel sees something strange that really doesn't fit into that illusion, and just a bit after that a missing person report with a photo of Jess is published – except her name is Megan. Rachel wants to help, and doesn't only get tangled up in a net of lies she actually doesn't even have anything to do with, but she also has to deal with Anna and her husband, Rachels ex-husband, who live just a few blocks away from Jess and Jason and are not very fond of the drinking, miserable Rachel not just leaving them alone.

With „Girl on the train“, Paula Hawkins managed a brilliant debut that readers can't let go of. She shows an absolutely human quirk of big city residents – observing and de-humanizing others – and puts it into a thrilling, complex, thought-through story with a main character that you will pity and admire at the same time. Rachel is a wonderful anti-hero you just can't help to love despite her muffed life, and „Girl on the train“ is a book very fit for non-crime fiction readers and fans by Gillian Flynns „Gone Girl“.


Bridget Jones's Baby - Review

Bridget Jones is iconic. The walking chaos of a woman that struggles with overweight, her cigarette addiction, her fondness to alcohol, her carrier and of course her lovelife is a legend. Four books and two movies were published so far following Bridget through her chaotic life trying to be a better person. Now, we have movie number three.

The very beginning of Bridget Jones's Baby already makes a lovely reference to the first movie and the iconic scene of Bridget (Renee Zellweger) all alone in her apartment in London lip-syncing „All by myself“, but that path is broken again very quickly when she decides to put on another song and have actual fun instead of pitying herself once again – that's right, Bridget has grown, she is a lot more selfconfident, yet loveably awkward in her selfconfidence. We see a woman in her early fourties, she managed to have her desired weight and she stopped smoking, she is succesful in her job as a TV producer, her colleagues like her, but she is still single – which doesn't seem to be a problem at all. Only her friends, all married and parents, remind her that they have something that she doesn't and that she admits to truly want. Still, this Bridget can wait, this Bridget lives for the moment, this Bridget decides that first of all, she wants to have sex, nothing romantic. She finds that with Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), an American guy she meets at a music festival – and a few days later with her ex Mark Darcey (Colin Firth), who is going to divorce his wife and admits to missing her. So far, so good, but Bridgets idea of safe sex is age-old vegan condoms that have been in her purse forever and that are more than expired, and lucky as she is, she ends up pregnant.

She tells both men about her situation but misses to mention that she isn't exactly sure who the father is. Both are delighted and see a possible future with Bridget. When they find out about each other, both try their best to help her throughout her pregnancy, each in their own way. The still very starched Mark and the free-spirited Jack are perfect opposites and thus passive-aggressively try to win Bridget over.

Inbetween all that, a new boss has taken over the TV show that Bridget works for, and Bridget has to work even harder to adapt to the new, hip and trendy ideas that are now the image of her workplace.

Let's talk details: London has changed since the early 2000s, and it is portraied perfectly in the movie, from the more subtle streetfood carts that are placed in the background in front of Bridgets place to the right in your face hipsters with bowties, beards and buns that are her new colleagues. This is also a really good method to show that Bridget is becoming older, additionally to the fact that instead of dinner parties she is going to christenings. Bridget Jones is not fully up to date anymore – and that's okay.


Another great point is that we see the funeral of Daniel Cleaver. With that, a perfectly reasonable explaination is given to why he isn't in this movie and he gets a last hoorah with loads of young, beautiful women that are all a bit alienated by all the other young, beautiful women attending.

Mark is still working as an attorney, this time he is defending a band of young women that are a reference to the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Not once, the issue is mocked, but rather the ways the band fights for their rights (being loud and sometimes naked) and the way no one really seems to actually care what they are fighting for (Mark doesn't particularily like their ways but tries really hard to make clear that free speech and womens rights are serious topics).

Last but not least: Bridget marries Mark, the father to her son, at the end of the movie – and the couple is still good friends with Jack. It is great to see this love triangle being resolved peacefully and no one being the actual bad guy – another thing that shows how much the characters have grown.


Overall, this is the new Bridget that has changed but still stayed herself. She became older, London became hipper, but the charme of early-2000s British rom-com has been preserved well into the 2010s. It surely wouldn't be beating a dead horse to make yet another Bridget Jones movie showing her as a chaotic mother and wife – because if there is one thing not dead, it is Bridget Jones.