Film: “Bridget Jones’s Baby”; Director: Sharon Maguire; Cast: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey; Rating: *

What’s with this avalanche of chick flicks at a theatre close to you’ Two weeks ago, the redoubtable Amitabh Bachchan reminded us strongly that a woman’s ‘no’ means a no.

Well, here we have Bridget Jones, back with her third spiffy but iffy tale of love, sex and more sex delivered in paroxysms of giggly girlie banter. And If Mr B says a ‘no’ is a no, Ms B says a ‘yes’ is a yes.

Don’t follow your heart. Follow your loins to the end of the world. Luckily, Bridget doesn’t have to go that far on her 43rd birthday. Accompanied by her best friend Miranda (Sarah Solemani, who steals every scene in which they are together), Bridget goes on a holiday in slushy muddy yucky music festival where they shack up in a tent playing buddy-buddy.

The film’s writers provide us with an all-new definition to the concept of pitching a pole in a tent when in the middle of the night Bridget stumbles into a stranger’s tent and, well, has sex with the rakish stranger Qwant (Patrick Dempsey who is the only character who seems to have had fun).

I can see Mr. Bachchan’s solemnly announcing rule No.5 in the courtroom in Pink: Good girls do not sleep in tents with absolute strangers.

But then Bridget is no ordinary chick. We’ve borne through her excruciating adventures in two previous films and have to suffer her age-arresting antics a third time. Director Sharon Maguire who did the first Bridget Jones film seems in absolutely no control of the proceedings. There is a kind of improvisational rush to the narrative — which is not a good thing at all.

Most of the plot concerns itself with Bridget’s paternity issue. Who is the father of her unborn child’ The stranger in the tent or her lover Mark Darcy from the past who is now back in her life, happily married and yet willing to sleep with her.

Just why the enormously gifted Colin Firth would return to play Darcy after stammering his way through as Oscar-winning performance in “The King’s Speech” is anyone’s mess… I mean, guess. Hugh Grant, who played another man in Bridget’s life, refused to do this film (respect). So the plot holds a memorial service for his character.

And we thought only Ekta Kapoor‘s serials did such things.

Just how Bridget allows herself to be impregnated in this day and age with an unwanted child makes for an interesting study in spin-doctoring in an unwanted sequel. Bridget, we are told, used an expired condom. Just goes to show. Everything in life, including life itself, comes with an expiry date. So why push it’

In brief: AVOID.

By Subhash K Jha