Charming rom-com signals coming of fall

Bridget Jones’s Baby - photo

‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’

Starring: Rene Zellweger, Patrick Dempsey, Colin Firth

Directed by: Sharon Maguire

Rated: R


Oh, it’s so risky to revive these characters when the last movie that had “Bridget Jones” in the title was 2004. But despite all the rumors about Renee Zellweger’s face augmentation, I have to say that age looks good on her. And yes, you can see the crow’s feet — not only on her but on Patrick Dempsey and Colin Firth, too.

Our party girl is now a ripe 43, and her biological clock as all but stopped. She’s a full-on television producer now and surrounded by much younger co-workers like Miranda (Sarah Soleman) who are always after her to “get a good shagging” now that Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) is just a nod to the past.

A weekend jaunt to a music festival finds Bridget determined to carry through on Miranda’s advice, and she finds just the guy in Jack (Patrick Dempsey) when he rescues her from a mud puddle. One thing leads to another, and she winds up in his tent for memorable one nighter. Just days later, she runs into her old flame Darcy at a funeral and, well, another memorable night ensues for old times sake.

She thinks nothing of either event until she turns up pregnant a few weeks later. Since parentage can’t be accurately determined and Bridget opts out of the pre-natal test, her gynecologist (Emma Thompson) is forced to play along in the “who’s the baby daddy” guessing game.

From that point, the movie is pretty much about who the daddy is, who wants to be and who Bridget wants it to be. And it is not without its charm all the way around. There is something nice about seeing actors with real wrinkles and graying temples. This is a romantic comedy for sure, but it brings back some great characters created by Helen Fielding, who wrote this script along with Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson — who wrote herself some funny scene-stealing moments.

And some applause, please, for director Sharon Maguire, who actually has a solid sense of comedy timing. It’s a pretty important component of a romantic comedy, and she tiptoes down the middle of the more poignant moments and the physical comedy that this trio engages in trying to get the reluctant mother to the hospital before, as she puts it, “I have this baby in the street.”

In case the 95-degree weather fooled you, it is fall. At least according to movie studios, it is. That’s why suddenly women are welcome back in the theaters now. Oh what? You really liked “The Avengers”? Well, if you’re a woman, you are instead supposed to like this estrogen-driven fare much better. So much so that “The Girl on the Train” is coming up next on Oct. 8 for your viewing pleasure.

It’s a tense thriller, not anything like Bridget’s “Baby,” except for the fact I’m looking forward to that one, too. Now if those damn leaves would just change color.