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(Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver has been conveniently disposed of, as has much of the plot of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.) Bridget chooses not to get amniocentesis to find out which man is the father and strings them along for the entire pregnancy, Maury-style, falling for both in the process.It’s been a long time since I saw a really successful rom-com, one whose heroine feels nuanced and three-dimensional, whose struggles feel genuine, and one whose humor is part of the film’s DNA instead of mere padding.this week, but so help me, there I was, blubbering away as Renée Zellweger’s Bridget, nine months pregnant, got carried wheelbarrow-style by two men through a revolving hospital door.In the new installment, directed by Sharon Maguire of the original , 43-year-old Bridget (“the last barren husk in London,” as she puts it) finds herself pregnant after one-night-stands with charismatic American dating guru Jack Quant (Patrick Dempsey) and former true-love Mark Darcy (Firth), from whom she’s separated.He has the amazing ability to communicate immense joy and great sorrow with a single glance, even as his expression barely changes, as if he’s trying to lock his feelings away behind a pained grimace and furrowed brow.In one scene, Bridget reveals that she is pregnant with his baby (maybe), and he has to excuse himself from the room, presumably to panic in private.Hugh Grant had script meetings with Colin Firth before deciding not to appear in Bridget Jones’s Baby.The British actor, who starred as Daniel Cleaver in the original films, was part of on-going discussions with producers before Patrick Dempsey was drafted in as his replacement in a new role.
Much fuss has been made of the fact that Renée Zellweger looks different in the new film (and indeed, poor Owen Gleiberman was so personally aggrieved he wrote a whole essay about it).
But while Bridget feels essentially like the same person, if a little older and wiser, Mark’s evolution as a character is more striking.