Certificate: 15

Running Time: 123 mins

Star Rating: 4/5

AS creative pregnancies go, Bridget Jones's Baby has taken longer than most to come full-term. It's been 12 years since Renee Zellweger adopted a near-flawless English accent to portray the hapless singleton in Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason. In the interim, writer Helen Fielding has delivered a third novel, Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy, but it's her series of newspaper columns from more than a decade ago that fertilises this haphazard, yet joyful stumble into motherhood.

Director Sharon Maguire bookmarks the heroine's trials and vacillations with nostalgic flashbacks to earlier films reminding us of Bridget's infuriating obsessions and her fitful romantic dalliances . As Bridget careens towards her 43rd birthday without a wedding ring on her finger, her newscaster pal Miranda (Sarah Solemani), suggests a hedonistic girls-only weekend at a music festival. A late-night blunder into the wrong yurt leads to a spontaneous coupling with a handsome American love guru called Jack Quant (Patrick Dempsey). A few days later, Bridget is powerless to resist the silky charms of old flame Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who is separating from his wife. A pregnancy test at work confirms that Bridget is about to gain weight. If only she knew who was the father...

Zellweger slips back into the title role with ease, oozing lovability, fragility and regret. Dempsey and Firth are attractive rivals for Bridget's brittle affections and the script keeps us guessing as long as possible about the course of true love.