Monday, September 14, 2009

Bridget Jones's Diary Review

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Directed by Sharon Maguire
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant

Based On: Pride and Prejudice

For the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description: Featuring a blowzy, winningly inept size-12 heroine, Bridget Jones's Diary is a fetching adaptation of Helen Fielding's runaway bestseller, grittier than Ally McBeal but sweeter than Sex and the City. The normally sylphlike Renée Zellweger (Nurse Betty, Me, Myself and Irene) wolfed pasta to gain poundage to play "singleton" Bridget, a London-based publicist who divides her free time between binge eating in front of the TV, downing Chardonnay with her friends, and updating the diary in which she records her negligible weight fluctuations and romantic misadventures of the year. Things start off badly at Christmas when her mother tries to set her up with seemingly standoffish lawyer Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), whom Bridget accidentally overhears dissing her. Instead she embarks on a disastrous liaison with her raffish boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant, infinitely more likeable when he's playing a baddie instead of his patented tongue-tied fops). Eventually, Bridget comes to wonder if she's let her pride prejudice her against the surprisingly attractive Mr. Darcy.

I absolutely adore this movie! I'll admit that I read the book after I saw the film, and I enjoyed both immensely. Bridget is a modern day heroine who is caught between two men. It's obvious to the audience that she should end up with Darcy (especially to anyone familiar with Pride and Prejudice), but Bridget has to come to those terms on her own. Plus, I love the little connection with the Pride and Prejudice BBC. Let me explain...

In the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice, Colin Firth played Mr. Darcy (and, in my opinion, is the best Darcy to date). In Bridget Jones's Diary he also plays a Mr. Darcy, with many of the same mannerisms. There's another little flashback to P&P in the scene where Bridget quits her job in publishing. If you look closely, you'll see Crispin Bonham-Carter who played Mr. Bingley.

Bridget: It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.

I couldn't find a trailer, but here's the opening scene


Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review. You make me want to read it. I've seen the movie of course but never read it.

Nina said...

Love this movie too! It''s so fantastic!

Andrea said...

I remember listening to the book in the car and having to turn it off so I didn't wreck, I was laughing so hard. The movie is brillant as well.
"I like you just the way you are." sigh

La Coccinelle said...

I love the book! Her mother was so funny... quite a bit different than in the movie.

Justine said...

Ooh, I still haven't watched this movie. I should definitely do that soon :) Thanks for your review!

Cecelia said...

This movie grew on me. Hated it the first time I saw it because it was so...embarrassing! I really don't do humor that consists of the characters making a fool of themselves (it's quite another thing if it's really self-deprecating, but most of the time it's just sad and painful), but I somehow warmed to Bridget and crew over time. Fun!

Krista said...

Great review! I just loved the movie I may need to pick the book up!

Anonymous said...


It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!

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