Friday, September 16, 2016

'Bridget Jones's Baby': A Bundle of Joy, Delivering Constant Laughs, Causing Only Minor Upset

Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) and doctor (Emma Thompson). Photos by Giles Keyte for Universal Pictures.

BY VW

IT
is no surprise to fans of the Helen Fielding book and film franchise that Bridget Jones would find herself in a state of pregnancy and have difficulty placing the father.

This is precisely the pickle in which the heroine and title character (Renée Zellweger) finds herself in "Bridget Jones's Baby." The film - which is based on columns that HF wrote for The Independent, rather than the book - opens today in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The good news is that the father can be narrowed down to two men. After all, Bridget isn't slutty, she's nutty. One has to be a nutser to have a potential father booked on the national news show that she produces to ascertain answers. Or leaves her handbag in an ATM station, presumably containing her ID. Sorry, being fired earlier that day is hardly a mitigating factor.

In any case, the potential daddys are ex, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth reprising the role of the buttoned-up barrister), and American dating ap millionaire Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey). It should be noted that Jack is far more compatible with Bridget than is Mark. And he is crazy about her; Mark, of course, simply thinks she's crazy.

The exquisite joy in watching "Bridget Jones's Baby" - and it is fun with laughs galore - is derived from three major plotlines:

Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) and new man (Patrick Dempsey).

1. Sitting on the edge of your seat as the moment draws ever closer when Bridget must confess to the two men. Each is in raptures over the prospect of fatherhood. Each is wholly unprepared that soon the day will dawn when Bridget will disclose to him that she is 100 percent certain that he has a 50 percent chance of being the father of her baby;

2. Witnessing dear, dear Bridget being adored and cosseted by two handsome men, simultaneously. A new experience, to be sure;

3. The two vying to be the most supportive father-to-be. Do note that a super juice almost always trumps an iced tea. Hilarity ensues; abounds.

Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) and mother (Gemma Jones).

Indeed, it does: The scene in the initial lamaze class where there is no box for this trio until Bridget acquieses to one. During a campaign party (It's a rainbow coalition.) at the home of her parents after the conversion of Bridget's minor politician mother (Gemma Jones).

Arguably, the film's funniest scene is the one in which the scandalized reactions of the bartender at Bridget and Mark's favorite Italian restaurant grow in proportion to each revelation Bridget makes to Mark and Jack around her faux pas. It is the stuff of a comedy master class ...


Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) and colleague (Sarah Solemani).

Any scene with Emma Thompson is certain to create laughs and guffaws. Like PD, she is a welcome newcomer to the franchise. Owing to myriad productions problems (creative differences), ET also shares a screenwriter credit with HF and Dan Mazer. The aforesaid production kerfuffles largely account for the 12-year gap between the second and this third "Bridget Jones" film ...

Naturally, the baby chooses to come at a most inopportune time, triggering yet more hilarity en route to the hospital.

Laughs aside, "Bridget Jones's Baby" isnt a perfect film.The delivery room scene is among the weakest of the film, hackneyed from start to finish.

Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) and the fathers (Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey).

The ending is a bit of a disappointment. One expects some nuance. It is sure to be polarizing.

"Bridget Jones's Baby" is an easily digestible film, however. A dozen years later, the recurring characters are as comfortable as a favorite pair of old shoes. They are on auto pilot, especially RZ whose Bridget has lost not one whit of her wistfulness. The Bridget Jones cast is now like family. (Alas, Hugh Grant was a casualty of productiongate). We love them, warts and all.

Just as we do "Bridget Jones's Baby."

"Bridget Jones's Baby" is rated R for language, sex references and some nudity. Visit http:// www.bridgetjonesmovie.com/ to learn more about this film.

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