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Craig's Movie Club
Movie Reviews

Spotlight on: Bridget Jones's Diary

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Sharon Maguire's Bridget Jones's Diary

I have to say that I didn't expect much from this movie, after not having enjoyed the book very much, but Bridget Jones's Diary surprised me. It is by no means a classic, but its charm and humor took it much further than the actual storyline, with was often trite and unbelievable.

Still single and being set up on blind dates by her mother, Bridget (Renée Zellweger sporting a few extra pounds and a very good English accent), an overweight self-analyzing chainsmoker, suddenly finds herself being pursued by two men, one of whom is her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) at the publishing company where she works, the other being a childhood friend, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who has a tense history with Cleaver.

I don't suppose that sexual harrassment is as much of an issue in Britain as it is in America, given that Cleaver's comment of "like your tits in that top" actually wins her over (they do look rather nicer than the usual Zellweger variety, by the way). (Added discovery: apparently you can now say "tits" on TBS. You didn't think I spent money on this, did you?)

This was Grant's first chance to play an unlikable character and his innate charm gives an extra layer to the despicable Cleaver -- even making us sympathize with him for a bit, at least until the revelation at the end. Firth plays Darcy as an allusion to the Pride and Prejudice character he portrayed for the BBC; it is obvious from the beginning that he is the man for whom we're supposed to be rooting, simply because he is so troubled. Author Helen Fielding said she always had him in mind for the role; lucky for him, his star had recently risen so that he could be considered.

Zellweger is wonderful. I don't usually like her, but she gives Bridget a human side that wasn't apparent in the book (where she is all neuroses, pounds, and cigarettes) -- and she's funny! All in all, Bridget Jones's Diary is a delightful film (although not one I would consider buying) that fills two hours serviceably and leaves the audience with a good feeling.

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