Bridget Jones's Diary

"Very Good"

Bridget Jones's Diary Review


I'm used to the e-mail: You're not a cheerleader so you shouldn't review Bring It On! Or If you don't like boring movies about Iraqi Kurds you shouldn't review A Time for Drunken Horses! Or If you've never heard of Reinaldo Arenas you shouldn't review a movie about his life (Before Night Falls)!

Sorry, folks, I don't buy it. Do I need to be shot into space to review Apollo 13? A movie should stand on its own whether you're familiar with the subject, whether you're fond of the topic in question, or whether you're a member of the demographic that the film is about or is targeted at. If it especially appeals to a certain group (and what film doesn't?), well, good for you. But I'm going to review whatever I want -- and if you don't want to hear what a white guy in his late 20s has to say about cinema, well, that's just to bad.

So with that lengthy disclaimer understand that this review of the celebrated adaptation of the novel Bridget Jones's Diary is written by a non-British man who's never read the book. Deal with it. You'll also have to forgive me for not writing this review in the "v. Bridget's diary" style that I guarantee every other one you read will be written in....

The story of Bridget Jones's Diary tracks our title character during the 32nd year of her life, one dominated by menial work, too much drinking/smoking/eating, and most notably, the lack of a meaningful relationship. Renée Zellweger has clearly and bravely gained the 20 requisite pounds to play the chubby-cheeked Bridget, who repeated resolves to get her life in order -- and pretty much mucks it up miserably every time.

Central to her woes are her rakish boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and her childhood friend Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Oddly, while Bridget professes romantic woes, she soon finds herself with the two men to choose from. Hence the dilemma, and hence the need for a diary.

Hugh Grant's role as her scoundrel of a boss is quite delicious, showing us some of his inner rogue that was responsible for memorably getting he and Divine Brown together a few years back. The humorless Firth, however, is another matter. Meant to be a rather stiff antithesis to Cleaver's carefree loony, he comes off as unlovable and never makes a case for why Bridget would genuinely be interested in him. Students of Hollywood won't find much surprise in the resolution, though, no matter how thick the accents used to mask the movie's origin.

Fortunately, Bridget Jones elicits a frequent giggle as it sets up jokes and invariably pays them off, relying on Zellweger to deliver a bravely out-there comedic performance, the talent for which she must have picked up during her time as Jim Carrey's squeeze. She shows up as the only one in a hooker costume at a "tarts and vicars" party. She runs through a snowstorm in leopard-print panties. Nice. Zellweger isn't afraid to show us her (expanded) skin, and she deserves credit for it. So much so, that I'll go out on a limb here and predict she'll win at least one People's Choice Award next year!

But Bridget Jones isn't Annie Hall. She's an archetype for modern singles, sure, but her predicament is somewhat inaccessible while it strives to be universal. Her goofy antics are hilarious slapstick, and I figure that's all the producers ever intended. And that's fine with me. Even though I didn't read the book, it just goes to show that even a v. married Yank can enjoy a little something silly about a troubled, single British gal.

On DVD, Bridgephiles will find even more to like -- including a few deleted scenes (more racy wackiness), a commentary from director Maguire (the panties were hers), and a few other odds and ends. Notable is the inclusion of some of Helen Fielding's original newspaper columns wherein Bridget was first conceived. An altogether v. v. nice package.

The Collector's Edition DVD adds to the original disc a few more extras, namely a handful of making-of documentaries and the trailer for the film's sequel.

Z and Bridget Jones.



Bridget Jones's Diary

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th April 2001

Box Office USA: $70.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $281.9M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, Studio Canal, Working Title Films, Little Bird

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 124 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Bridget Jones, as Mark Darcy, as Daniel Cleaver, as Bridget's Mum, as Bridget's Dad, as Tom, as Shazza, as Jude, as Natasha, as Lara

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Advertisement
Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.