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Britain's most neurotic singleton is back in "Bridget Jones's Baby," and the jokes have aged slightly less well than the star.

RenĂ©e Zellweger returns as Bridget, now 43, slimmer and still single, juggling a job as producer on a hip London news program and confronting the fact that her friends are all with kids and have no time for late-night pub crawls. Then she gets lucky twice in a week — a one-night stand with Jack Quant (Patrick Dempsey), a billionaire dating-site creator she met at a music festival, followed by a hookup with her longtime ex, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who's about to divorce his current wife — and a month later learns she's pregnant.

Director Sharon Maguire, who helmed the first "Bridget Jones's Diary," saddles poor Bridget with some v.v. silly slapstick, some groan-inducing scenes of Mark and Jack's macho competitiveness, and needle-drop soundtrack picks that will make one's eyes roll (e.g., Dionne Warwick singing "Walk On By" when Bridget and Mark have an awkward encounter). The script is a tag-teamed affair, by Helen Fielding (the author who created Bridget), Dan Mazer (a regular collaborator with Sacha Baron Cohen) and Emma Thompson — who, playing Bridget's no-nonsense obstetrician, gave herself all the best lines.

In spite of the mess, Zellweger remains winsome and charming as Bridget, enough so that one wishes the movie had done better by her.

'Bridget Jones's Baby'

Opens Friday, Sept. 16, at theaters everywhere; rated R for language, sex references and some nudity; 122 minutes.