Review / ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ (M) ** and half

bridget-joness-babyTWELVE years ago, in the second film based on the life and misfortunes of Helen Fielding’s literary cash cow Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), Hugh Grant played caddish Daniel.

Keep Danny-boy in mind. Early in this sequel, a London newspaper shows his photo illustrating a story about his disappearance in a tropical jungle.

If I’ve so far used space telling you about a character who’s not in Sharon Maguire’s film, which opens with Bridget at age 43 employed to prompt Hard News Channel interviewers with hard questions to throw guests off message, please be patient and keep reading.

Writing the screenplay for Bridget III is a triumvirate comprising Fielding, Dan Mazer (whose CV includes several of Sacha Baron Cohen’s maddest movies) and Emma Thompson. Ah, Emma, a superb actress with the chops to lift the dullest movies whenever she’s in shot and an Oscar for her screenplay of “Sense And Sensibility”. In this limp saga-ette telling how Bridget got pregnant with no idea which of two studs she bonked in a six-day period is the father, she’s written the best bits for herself playing the obstetrician.

The screenplay keeps us on tenterhooks wondering which of them, in a casual bonk, fired that naughty sperm into Bridget’s waiting ovum – Colin Firth as QC Mark or Patrick Dempsey as Jack, mathematician and designer of an algorithm that calculates whether two people suit each other in a relationship.

The journey from conception to parturition and eventual marriage shows Bridget as somebody more concerned to blame others for her solitary condition than to do anything about it. That dramatic thesis has kept Fielding from the poorhouse for two decades. This time it’s about to change without conscious behaviour on Bridget’s part.

After the wedding, there’s another front page story and pic. Daniel’s been found alive in the jungle. To me, this foresees a fourth Bridget movie. Help!

At all cinemas

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