All by her­self – again

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - Leigh Paatsch

BRID­GET JONES’S BABY (M)

Di­rec­tor: Sharon Maguire (Brid­get Jones’s Di­ary) Star­ring: Re­nee Zell­weger, Colin Firth, Pa­trick Dempsey, Emma Thomp­son, Shirley Hen­der­son, Jim Broad­bent Ver­dict: One ob­vi­ous ex­pec­ta­tion, no real sur­prises

BRID­GET Jones is back af­ter a decade-plus hol­i­day. Did you miss her? Well, if you’ve for­got­ten all about 2004’s dread­ful Brid­get Jones: The Edge of Rea­son, it is more than likely her re­turn is a wel­come one.

Af­ter all, 2001’s de­light­ful Brid­get Jones’s Di­ary re­mains ev­ery bit an en­joy­able Brit-com guilty plea­sure as Love, Ac­tu­ally.

So where does Brid­get Jones’s Baby sit? Per­haps not all that sur­pris­ingly, it re­sides smack-bang in the mid­dle of its pre­de­ces­sors.

The open­ing act is reg­u­la­tion re­union stuff. While Brid­get (Re­nee Zell­weger) is now 43 years old, she is very much the same Ms Jones: no man, no plan and no fore­see­able change on the near hori­zon.

How­ever, on the far hori­zon, changes are on the way. If we fast­for­ward to the mid­dle of the pic­ture, Brid­get is now preg­nant and not so sure about who the fa­ther might be.

Two ran­dom trysts have left both dash­ing dat­ing-app bil­lion­aire Jack Quant (Pa­trick Dempsey) and lon­glost love Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) as can­di­dates for pos­si­ble par­ent­hood.

Rather than sort out this snafu with a quick DNA test, our highly strung hero­ine keeps the guess­ing game go­ing right up un­til the birth it­self.

The wait un­til we fi­nally hear the pit­ter-pat­ter of lit­tle feet def­i­nitely goes on way too long here. Scenes padded out push the to­tal run­ning time past the two-hour mark, which is usu­ally ask­ing too much of even the most bril­liant movie come­dies.

Though Brid­get Jones’s Baby can def­i­nitely pro­voke the oc­ca­sional hearty laugh, en­dur­ing the af­ter­math of one em­bar­rass­ing stum­ble af­ter an­other gets a tad dull af­ter a while.

Zell­weger is an ef­fi­cient an­chor and keeps the ti­tle char­ac­ter en­dear­ingly like­able. How­ever, there is a spark miss­ing that is truly no­tice­able when­ever Zell­weger is one-on-one with ei­ther of her lead­ing men.

A re­strained Firth and a rel­a­tively too-ea­ger-to-please Dempsey more or less can­cel one an­other out in terms of im­pact. This leaves you wish­ing more scenes could have been cleared for a won­der­ful Emma Thomp­son, whose cyn­i­cal bed­side man­ner as Brid­get’s in­cred­u­lous doc­tor is a wel­come dis­trac­tion through­out.

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