The long-awaited third installment begins as charmingly awkward, accident-prone Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is celebrating her 43rd birthday - alone, once again - with Celine Dion’s “All By Myself.”

A funeral flashback reveals that Bridget’s caddish boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), has died and her longtime lover, successful barrister Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), is married to a woman named Camilla.

Bridget is a successful TV news show producer and her best-friend, anchorwoman Miranda (Sarah Solemani), has concocted a plan to launch her back into the dating world during a weekend at the Glastonbury Music Festival.

That’s where American billionaire Jack Quant (Patrick Dempsey) gallantly pulls her out of a mud puddle. He’s CEO of an online dating website. Later that night, he and Bridget hook up in his ornate yurt.

A week later, at a christening, Bridget discovers that Mark Darcy is getting a divorce, and their nostalgic chemistry re-ignites.

As a result of these two romantic encounters, Bridget’s pregnant. But who’s the father? Since Bridget’s terrified of having amniocentesis, not even her obstetrician (Emma Thompson) knows, cynically quipping, “It doesn’t matter. All they’re good for is fitting car seats and blaming things on.”

Both suitors are surprisingly acquiescent to claiming parenthood. Indeed, they soon become competitive. And when her water breaks, both men rush her to the hospital, defying a traffic jam by carrying her cross-town through the streets of London.

Filled with characters adapted from her own best-selling novel, the script by author Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson, again directed by Sharon Maguire, reflects a changing cultural climate, particularly about gender equality. As a result, while still insecure, Bridget is less body image-obsessed.

The same can be said for Renee Zellweger, who took a six-year break from acting, living on a 40-acre farm in Connecticut. Middle-aged Bridget’s gamely grappling with feeling increasing irrelevant in a workplace populated by people decades younger obviously touched a chord within Zellweger.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” delivers an endearing 8, a sparky screwball comedy worth waiting for.