'Bridget Jones's Baby' Delivers Belly Laughs in This Overdue Reunion

bridget Jones's Baby

Watching Bridget Jones's Baby is like catching up with a dear old friend -- one you didn't realize how much you'd missed until you saw her again. Renée Zellweger, reprising the role that scored her her first Academy Award nomination, renders viewers spellbound from Bridget's very first word, which -- spoiler alert -- is an expletive. But we'd expect nothing less from our gal as the film starts off on the hapless heroine's 43rd birthday.

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While she's achieved her ideal weight, resides in the perfect flat, and has advanced in her career, the one thing our favorite singleton is still missing is love. 

With her friends all too busy with babies to celebrate her birthday, Bridget sets off for a weekend of debauchery with her younger pal and colleague, Miranda, portrayed by the stunning and delightful Sarah Solemani.

It's at a raucous music festival (complete with a cameo by that adorable ginger Ed Sheeran) that Bridget has an unexpected encounter with billionaire Jack Qwant, played by Patrick Dempsey, who only seems to get McDreamier with age.

 

When she returns home (with a little spring in her step, we might add) she runs into Mark Darcy (the always-handsome Colin Firth) -- Bridget's Mr. Big, if you will -- at her godchild's christening. Even with a toy train tangled in her hair and fairy wings on her back, Bridget still warms Mr. Darcy's heart and the two enjoy a tender tryst. 

But what seem like a couple of fun, one-night stands (or meaningless shags, as the Brits might say) become much more once Bridget's pregnancy test proves positive and she's unsure which lucky fella is the father. 

Hilarity ensues as the two potential baby daddies attempt to one-up each other and win Bridget over, after she refuses the amniocentesis procedure that would've brought their uncertainty to a screeching halt. (Their reactions are about as far from the Maury Povich show as one could get, with each man hoping he'll be the one who ends up with a baby -- a bit unrealistic, but, hey, this is Hollywood.) 

Sharon Maguire, who directed Bridget Jones's Diary but not its lackluster sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, is back and wrings as much laughter out of each scene as possible. 

Zellweger is fantastic at nailing the physical comedy of an already-clumsy Bridget made even more ungainly by pregnancy. Whether she's falling facedown in the mud or mucking up an important presentation in front of her nightmarish millennial boss (played to perfection by Kate O'Flynn) who prefers cat videos to hard news, we're with her all the way.

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Emma Thompson is a sheer delight as Bridget's wise and wise-cracking ob-gyn who is willing to oblige the expectant mom in her baby-daddy ruse as she navigates this unexpected pregnancy. Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones return as Bridget's goofy but well-intentioned parents, while Sally Phillips, as Bridget's BFF, Shazzer, is a funny, foul-mouthed mum who adds plenty of bawdy "puppet" humor.

Family, friends, and especially the audience can't help but root for Bridget -- especially in the hilarious scene in which she and her suitors become trapped in a revolving door while she's in labor.

During a roundtable interview, Zellweger shared with CafeMom just how much she, too, adores this character, which made her that much more anxious about bringing her back to life. 

"When they sent the script, it felt like this fantastically happy reunion, and it's reminded me how much I love her," she said. "I love her friends and her parents and her world, and then, I got really terrified because I thought, 'Oh God. I really don't want to mess this up,' because I know that when I discovered her in the books, like so many other people -- we fell in love with her.

"We have affection for her, and she holds a lot of meaning for us," Zellweger continued. "And so, yeah, I just didn't want to disappoint anybody."

Don't worry, Renée, you were perfect, as always.

Ideal for a girls' night out or date night, the film opens Friday, September 16. If you've missed Miss Jones as much as we have, you're in for a treat.

 

Image via Universal Pictures

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