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There have now been five different people — all women — who, finding out that I’ve seen “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” all asked the same question: Is Hugh Grant in it? So let’s address that. Yeah, he’s in it … sort of. And now let’s move on to other topics.
This long gestating third film in the series about the former book publicist-turned TV reporter-turned TV chat show producer picks up on the day of Bridget’s 43rd birthday. For fans, all you have to know is that jerky but attractive Daniel (Hugh Grant) is as out of the picture as possible, and that stuffy but attractive Mark (Colin Firth) and Bridget (Renee Zellweger) ended their 10-year relationship a while ago. So here she is, nearing those mid-40s, alone again, and referring to herself as a spinster.
She’s not exactly unhappy. She has a good job (though that may be threatened by a new, dreadful, serious-minded boss), and good friends (her gay buddy Tom and his partner are about to adopt a “gaybe”). But she’s lonely, and when her loosey-goosey pal Miranda (Sarah Solemani) invites her to a music festival weekend — one of those deals where people of all ages set up living/sleeping quarters in yurts — she goes.
And she meets handsome, charming Jack (Patrick Dempsey), with whom she drunkenly beds down. Then they say goodbye. But hold on. Unforeseen circumstances lead her to once again bump into Mark — who’s now married to someone else — when they’re both asked to stand in as godparents at a church. Their awkward first meeting is sweet and funny and well played by both. To spin the plot forward, and make what’s going to happen OK, it turns out that he’s getting a divorce. And, yes, she beds down with him, too.
All of this leads to the film’s title, arrived at with the convenient excuse of “broken condoms.” Yes, dear Bridget is pregnant. The question, of course, since this is a lighthearted comedy, is who’s the father? Actually, an even more important one, asked of Bridget by Miranda is, “Do you WANT a baby,” to which she honestly replies, “I don’t know.”
Fortunately, this isn’t a film about moral judgments, and that comedy business remains its best parts. So the introduction of no-nonsense, and sharply sarcastic gynecologist Dr. Rawlings (Emma Thompson, who co-wrote the script, and knows a thing or two about good comic timing) is very welcome. As is the serio-comic rivalry between Jack and Mark when they’re let in on what’s going on.
Truth be told, this is a film with doses of high hilarity, thanks to its script and its actors. A pair of separate scenes featuring each guy visiting Dr. Rawlings with Bridget led to much cackling at the screening I attended. A later slapstick scene, when she’s being rushed to the hospital on delivery day, resulted in uncontrollably happy hooting.
The plot stretches the secret of who the father is as long as it can, and focuses — both comically and seriously — on the differences between the two men, and ends up on a surprisingly strong and satisfactory note. The film is a really nice rebound from “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” the disappointing sequel to “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” And if you stick around long enough at the end of this one, you might have some more questions (and answers) about Hugh Grant.
— Ed Symkus covers movies for More Content Now.
“Bridget Jones’s Baby”
Written by Helen Fielding, Dan Mazur, and Emma Thompson; directed by Sharon Maguire
With Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Emma Thompson
Movie review: Bridget is back with a bundle of joy in Bridget Jones’s Baby’
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