Bridget Jones’s Baby

A sex comedy for all ages

It’s been 15 years since the events in Bridget Jones’s Diary. In this smartly evolved second sequel, our endearingly imperfect, now middle-aged heroine (welcome back, Renee Zellweger), now accepting and even embracing her apparent eternal singleness, celebrates her 43rd birthday by having a one-night stand with a charming Yank in a yurt at a music festival.

In the same week, though, she is unexpectedly reunited, in the most pleasurable way, with her old flame, the married-but-separated Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth, good as ever). She sensibly takes precautions, but somewhat less sensibly uses biodegradable condoms well past their enjoy-by date.

So when the inevitable title oven-bun emerges, she can’t really say who the father is. Yes, it’s a far from original setup, but it’s handled here with such warmth and wit that it’s hard not to just go with it.

One reason for this, in addition to Zellweger’s spot-on performance, is the return of Sharon Maguire, who directed the 2001 film that kicked off the franchise (but wisely opted out of the 2004 box office bomb Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). Another is Emma Thompson, who also polished the script and apparently gave herself all the funniest lines as a wry and dry obstetrician.

Hugh Grant’s character’s been killed off (quite humorously) and replaced by Patrick Dempsey. Not my favorite actor, but he fits the role here nicely.

Bottom line: an effervescent, good-natured, familiar-but-fresh, just-raunchy-enough sex comedy that delightfully exceeds expectations. (123 min)