Bridget Jones's Baby
 
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Bridget Jones’s Baby

This is the movie equivalent of meeting an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time for brunch. It’s a little awkward at first, she’s a little different (but, really, so are you) and, a few bloody mary's in, you’re having a ball, wondering why it’s taken you so long to get together again.

Yes, Renee Zellweger is delightful, slipping seamlessly back into Bridget’s scruffy slippers. But now she also wears heels, established as a TV news producer whose busy life keeps her from over-thinking about the fact that she’s 1. Single and 2. Without a baby. But, hey, she’s 43 and, to celebrate, Bridget finds herself in a meet-cute situation with a hunky flirt who happens to be one of the richest men in the world. And then there’s Mark Darcy, the man she never got over, who keeps popping up at the oddest moments. Turns out either one of them could be the father of the child she, surprise! Is carrying.

It’s once that pregnancy is established and the action revolves around the two men and a baby (plus the lady, of course) the real fun begins. Matching Zellweger’s charm is Patrick Dempsey, in the pretty thankless role of the great guy who we don’t want to be the father. I mean come on. Aren’t we all rooting for it to be Colin Firth, still bumblingly dashing as the sweetly inscrutable Mark Darcy? I won’t spill the beans for you, but I will report cheering was involved at the screening I attended.

Hugh Grant may have chosen to sit this chapter out, but it is terrific to see Zellweger back after a few years off screen. Her knack for screwball comedy, as well as infectious tenderness, is as sharp as ever, raising the bar on even the film’s lesser moments. And let’s not forget co-writer Emma Thompson, lemony perfect as Bridget’s OBGYN. Two women of a certain age delivering not just a baby, but a delight: well, how about that.

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