on May 2, 2001
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually like the movie better than the book. My only disappointments were that the movie is way too short and that Colin Firth is not on-screen nearly enough.
The entire cast does a fantastic job of bringing Bridget Jones's quirky world to life. Renee Zellweger effectively portrays Bridget Jones as slightly ridiculous but lovable, and Hugh Grant and Colin Firth are perfect in their respective roles. It's certainly nice to see Hugh Grant finally take a break from the foppish, stuttering, self-deprecating persona he's been cultivating ever since Four Weddings & a Funeral---and his new buff look (as made evident in the lake/wet shirt scene) isn't bad either! I only wish the writers had come up with a reason to have Colin shirtless (or at least wet!)
As much as I enjoyed the movie, the reason I and my friends have already seen it several times and will buy the DVD the day it comes out is Colin Firth and his quietly (but devastatingly) mesmerizing performance. Several critics have commented that Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth have no chemistry, but I beg to differ. That very palpable chemistry (The way he looks at her when she's interviewing him? The incredibly charming cooking scene? The scene near the end where he leans down to kiss her on the cheek before she runs off to change into "genuinely tiny knickers"?) is what makes the ultimate resolution of the movie so satisfying.
Having long been a fan of British films, I've always been aware of Colin Firth as an accomplished actor (e.g., Another Country, A Month in the Country, Valmont), but it wasn't until Pride & Prejudice that it dawned on me that he was also incredibly attractive. He then went on to play rather unappealing characters in such films as Circle of Friends, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, and, me being the fickle fan that I am, forgot about my crush on him . . . until now. As a "serious actor," he seems to choose roles that will "challenge" him, and unfortunately for us besotted fans, they are often unattractive villains and cuckolds. But I've come to realize that the fact that he is so successful at masking his undeniable attractiveness is a testament to his extraordinary acting ability.
It was clear from Disney's marketing and PR campaign that they felt Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant would be the only draws here in the U.S., but I know a lot of people who went to see the movie because of Colin Firth. I can only hope this film will earn him the recognition of audiences (and studios) beyond the legions of women who fell in love with him in P&P. It'd certainly be wonderful to see him fulfill his promise as a leading man (a la Ralph Fiennes and Russell Crowe) and leave all those "character actor" roles behind him.
It looks like Working Title Films is already talking with Renee Zellweger about making the film version of "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason." Apparently, she's only interested if she doesn't have to gain weight again. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Colin Firth's desire to pursue more challenging roles doesn't keep him from signing on for the sequel. I can't imagine anyone else playing the role of Mark Darcy.
Finally, I'd just like to say that I wholeheartedly agree with other IMDB/Amazon users who've described Colin Firth as "sex on a stick," "dreamy," "swoonsome," "a revelation," "beautiful," "delicious," "riveting" and weak-knee inducing. I wonder how many of us will be trekking to London next year to see him on-stage in Hamlet? SIGH . . .
on April 5, 2008
Renee Zellweger does a fabulous job of portraying Bridget Jones. You would never guess that this great accent came from a Texan. At the age of 32, she is unhappy with her unmarried status, and everyone constantly throws it in her face. She is interested in her boss Daniel Cleaver, but knows he is not the type of man that she should see. When she meets Mark Darcy (a set up by her mother), they dislike each other immediately, and the fact he hates Daniel is just a bonus. The comedy that follows is just hilarious.
This is a very entertaining movie. Hugh Grant sheds his normal good guy persona to be the guy you love to hate. He is very effective in the role switch. Colin Firth is just plain loveable. This is a movie to pull out and watch again and again.
on April 24, 2001
Dissatisfied at age 32 with the direction her life is taking, a young woman vows to make some changes, and to keep herself on track she decides to start a daily journal, hoping it will make her toe the line, in "Bridget Jones's Diary," directed by Sharon Maguire and starring Renee Zellweger. Bridget (Zellweger) begins with some New Year's resolutions that include no more drinking or smoking, not being paranoid about her weight, and developing poise. And-- last, but not least-- to avoid any romantic attachments to alcoholics, workaholics, peeping Toms or perverts. Of course she promptly falls for the one man she knows who embodies all of those characteristics: Her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). In the meantime, her mother, Pam (Gemma Jones), continues to play matchmaker for her daughter. At a holiday gathering of friends and family, Pam nudges her in the direction of an old childhood chum, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), now a respectable attorney, and recently divorced. Their initial meeting, however, proves to be a less than monumental event, further complicated by the fact that Cleaver was Darcy's Best Man at his wedding, and has some tales-out-of-school to tell about the subsequently ill fated marriage that puts Darcy in a rather bad light. But Bridget could care less; she thinks Darcy is rude and a bore, and anyway, Daniel is her guy. Work is good, her life is going well and-- as she is about to wake up and realize-- she hasn't kept a single one of her resolutions. And, oh! she should have.
First time director Maguire proves with this auspicious debut that she certainly knows her territory and how to negotiate it. She has the touch and the eye for detail of a seasoned professional, and her sense of timing is impeccable. She successfully avoids a major pitfall that do in many rookie directors right out of the chute, by never fishing for the cheap, forced, disdainfully pretentious or concocted laugh. Everything in this film, especially the humor, flows freely and naturally from the circumstances of the characters and the story, which makes it all real and believable and allows it to be readily embraced by the audience. This is a funny, often hilarious movie, but it's also very warm and at times poignant, and for handling it so sensibly, and with such sensitivity, Maguire deserves to be granted even more kudos. It's quite simply an exceptionally well made film, presented with a style and grace that reflects that of the director herself.
Of course, having a superlative leading lady was certainly not disadvantageous to Maguire's efforts, either, and Renee Zellweger has never been better than she is here as Bridget. With her quirky good looks, personality and charisma, she is endearing, and she invades Meryl Streep territory by affecting a perfect British accent. Whether she's lip-syncing to a Celine Dion song, doing karaoke at an office party after having a bit too much to drink, or battling with a blender, it's easy to believe that someone would like her just the way she is. Even with her hair mussed, or in a somewhat disheveled state, she's alluring, and it all has to do with who she is deep down inside; Zellweger makes it clear that this is a woman of substance, and it's easy to like her. There's a down-to-earth honesty and accessibility about her that makes her appealing, and she's someone to whom many in the audience are easily going to be able to relate. For her portrayal of Betty in "Nurse Betty," Zellweger received a Golden Globe; "Bridget" should land her smack in the middle of Oscar territory.
As Bridget's smarmy boss, Daniel, Hugh Grant turns in a noteworthy performance, putting a rather tarnished sheen on his natural charm that works so well for this character. It's a nice departure from his usual bumbling, reserved Mr. Nice Guy routine he perfected in such films as "Notting Hill," and "Four Weddings and A Funeral." With this role he challenges Greg Kinnear's part in "Someone Like You" for the top spot in the Boss-You-Should-Never-Date category. And Firth does a memorable turn as Darcy, fairly reprising his role of the same name in the PBS miniseries, "Pride and Prejudice," from which this story is loosely derived. Initially appearing a bit sullen, he gets the chance to develop his character as the story unfolds, and he does it quite nicely, ultimately revealing Darcy's true nature.
In a supporting role, Gemma Jones gives a performance that deserves mention, doing a good job of fleshing out Bridget's mother in the brief time she is allotted. Rounding out the supporting cast are Crispin Bonham-Carter (Greg), Jim Broadbent (Colin Jones), James Callis (Tom), Sally Phillips (Shazzer), Honor Blackman (Penny), Embeth Davidtz (Natasha), Shirley Henderson (Jude) and Celia Imrie (Una). A warmly humorous, uplifting film, "Bridget Jones's Diary" is a delightful and satisfying experience with more than a touch of magic in it. Not only is it an entertaining showcase for Zellweger's many talents, but heralds the arrival of a director from whom we can expect great things in the future, Sharon Maguire. A well crafted, reality based comedy/drama that is enjoyable and refreshingly devoid of inane nonsense or gross jokes is a rare find these days, and this is one of the best to hit the screen in a long, long time. It's a film to be heartily embraced, and one I guarantee you'll want to see more than once.
I saw this movie, kicking and screaming, when my younger sister foisted it upon me. Thinking that it was going to be another Gen X piece of claptrap, I gritted my teeth and prepared myself for what I erroneously thought would be a waste of time. Was I ever wrong! It turned out to be a sublime cinematic experience.
Renee Zellweger is definitely the star of this film. She positively twinkles! She is absolutely marvelous in the role of Bridget Jones, our single, thirty something, English Holly-Go-Lightly. Employed as a somewhat graceless publicist, the plump and perky Bridget enters into an affair with her caddish, handsome, sexy boss, winningly played by the ever charming and debonair Hugh Grant.
Meanwhile, her mother has introduced her to an attorney, the stiff-necked Mr. Darcy, played to taciturn perfection by Colin Firth. Even though they were once childhood playmates, he and Bridget do not initially click, and it is not love at first sight, as Bridget's mother had so hoped. Bridget goes on her merry way with her boss, unaware that he is two-timing her. When she discovers his perfidy, it is too late, as she already fancies herself in love with him.
Mr. Darcy, however, re-enters the picture, and what happens is a thing of beauty to watch. The film is very funny. Rene Zellweger as a Brit is totally believable. She is so good that she would even fool the Queen into believing her to be one of the Queen's own subjects. Without a doubt, this is one of Ms. Zellweger's best roles to date, and she is positively delightful. Moreover, Sharon Maguire's directorial debut is certainly noteworthy, as she shows signs of a deft comedic touch in her direction. This is simply a terrific film. Bravo!
on April 20, 2001
I cannot rave enough about 'Bridget Jones' Diary'! It is so marvelous that finally there is a woman conveyed on film who's got a real body and has problems she's trying to control, and she can still get the man of her dreams.
Renee Zellweger does excellent as a thirty-two year old singleton who is having problems with cigarettes, alcohol, and men. Her mother is constantly trying to set her up and the latest is Mark Darcy, who has recently gotten a divorce. But Bridget has other ideas and is soon flirting with her boss (not to mention making a total fool of herself, but that's why we love Bridget!)
Nonetheless, the story is very sweet and enduring. And it is HILARIOUS! I haven't laughed this much at a movie since 'Meet the Parents'. I just loved the fact that this movie had a smart heroine who wasn't afraid to mess up and to just be herself. And it's nice to finally see Hugh Grant as a real bad guy instead of his usual roles. And I loved Colin Firth. This movie is definately a must-see! Bridget rocks!
on April 18, 2002
American Renee Zellweger did it. She made a convincing Brit. She also looked fabulous, even though she had to gain weight for the role. I loved this movie. The script was a well-done adaptation and it is very fun to watch.
I was very surprised by the performance of Hugh Grant. He typically gets cast in the romantic lead role, playing some sort of charming, bumbling idiot that you can't help but fall in love with. This movie, he actually tries something different. He still plays an idiot, but this time he's the sort of idiot you love to hate. It's a nice change. And, if there are any of you out there who hate Hugh Grant, this is the movie for you--there is a particular scene that you'll love (but I don't want to ruin it for you).
Colin Firth also does a marvelous job. His character is probably one of the most interesting in the movie (aside from Bridget herself). He progresses in a way that you don't really expect from the beginning, and it's rather nice. I love Colin Firth.
If you're in a bad mood, this is a great movie to see. It fits the romantic comedy mold, but it's good to watch even if you're not a fan of that genre. It's great fun.
"Bridget Jones' Diary" packs enough fun, twists and turns to make two entertaining movies. Renee Zellweger turns in a memorable performance as Bridget an unmarried career woman still looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places. Suddenly, she has two possible suitors. Her cad of a boss (Hugh Grant) who's probably all wrong for her but feels so right and a human rights lawyer (Colin Firth)who feels all wrong but is probably right for her. Her misadventures with both men will immediately win you over.
Now that we've got the plot and review out of the way I'm going to focus on what's different between this edition and the previous one. The first DVD released in 2001 and this one released to coincide with the sequel "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" look exactly the same. There's nothing to distinguish one disc vs. another. Also, many of the special features are the same as well and, contrary to the amazon.com summary, many of these were on the original release as well.
The new edition features a handful of new featurettes. Jenny Bicks a writer/producer on "Sex and the City", the editor of Allure Magazine and others comment on the difficulties in our narcissistic society. Her comments on finding Mr. Right in a world of Mr. Wrongs are frequently on target and quite funny. It's a standard but occasionally clever featurette that weaves clips from the movie with special footage highlighting the difficulty of finding the right person in a society. "The Bridget Phenomenon" focuses on Bridget herself-Helen Fielding. Well, actually according to Helen and the film's director Sharon McGuire Helen really isn't Bridgett. She just assumed her identity for the famous columns she wrote. Interviews with the cast members discussing the perception that being single is full of woe. Fielding discusses the great appeal of Bridget lies in the gap of how their expected to be and how they actually are. "Portrait of the Make Up Artist" focuses on Graham Johnston the chief make up artist on "Bridget Jones Diary" and the newly released sequel. All the other featurettes and Special Features appeared on the first edition of this funny comedy with the exception of "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" trailer. There's also reviews of the first film on this disc.
The original release had the feature commentary by director Sharon Maguire, the behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the movie, deleted scenes. Contrary to the listing here the original Bridget Jones' Diary Columns appeared on the first disc as well. Missing from the new edition are the music videos. That's about it. The film sounds and looks exactly the same as the previous edition.
If you haven't purchased the film before or rented it on video but didn't buy the DVD, this new edition is worthwhile picking up. If you have the previous edition, these new featurettes will only make this worthwhile if you will watch them (some folks don't pay attention to featurettes at all or watch them one time)more than one time. All of the new featurettes are quite entertaining but hardly essential.
Regardless of which edition you buy, this is a delightful, funny, frothy and clever film that you can enjoy on your own or with a signficant other. Step into Bridget's world and, if you haven't seen this and are going to see the sequel, definitely pick this up first for a delightful introduction to Bridget and her men.
on September 22, 2001
This is definately one of the best romantic movies to come out in the past years. Having read both the book and it's sequel I can say with assurance that it feels like a breath of fire has been added to Bridget Jones Diary.
Bridget is a single woman who is searching for a guy who is well,..... not psychcotic. In the midst of her search are wonderful friends, a kooky family, and an awful job.
This movie is not only romantic and endearing but its funny, the jokes come quick and fast and are filled with wit.Renee Zellweger takes the role and makes it her own creating a funny and quirky modern woman.She is especially humorous when she does any sort of public speaking.
Colin Firth shines as Mr. Darcy and the role fits him like a glove. (Those who have seen the A&E adaptation of Pride and Predjudice will remember him as none other then Mr. Darcy:)
The best thing about the movie is just the movie itself, your in no hurry to get from one place to another because the journey itself is so satisfying. Beautiful, Wonderful, and funny, I highly reccomend it!
on April 27, 2001
After having read the book and sequel more than once I was very anxious to see this movie. For the most part I was not disappointed. The movie was really funny, and I thought Renee Zelweger did a wonderful job as Bridget. I can't imagine anyone else doing the part. Hugh Grant was great as the cad, Daniel Cleaver. So much better than as the bumbling, nice guy Englishman he usually plays. You can see why Bridget was attracted, yet you also wonder why she doesn't see through his excuses and those emails! The best part was Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. The casting was brillant, as Helen Fielding basically wrote the part with him in mind. He grows on you more and more as the film goes on. Loved the fight scene and how sweet he was at her apartment while stiring the blue soup. However, I wonder why so many changes were made that weren't in the book. Such as changing Mark's parents names. They were mentioned several times in the book (You remember Mark Darcy, darling, Malcolm and Elaine's son?)Also I didn't like the part about Mark going to New York, showing him in the airport. This part didn't make a lot of sense. The movie wasn't very long and I wonder why so many funny parts were left out? I could have watched another hour! I loved the kiss at the end, it showed Bridget just what she had been missing out on because of a bad first impression. Of course I know that no movie is ever exactly like the book it is based on so you just have to accept the changes. On the whole, I thought it was a v. funny movie with a wonderful cast and I can't wait for the sequel!
on July 21, 2001
I really enjoyed this film. Forget criticisms about it not being exactly like the book - the film kept in the best parts of the book and jettisoned what was, in my opinion, a rather tedious and far-fetched sub-plot involving her mother. A triumph! Could have made a bit more of the circle of friends in the plot, they ended up being superfluous, but that was the only real weakness I thought. The best romcom since 'When Harry Met Sally' I thought and a little darker and less cloying than 4 Weddings and Notting Hill..
Renee's interpretation of Bridget was a softer more childish approach, almost virginal. For me that worked very well and did not jar with her naturally very warm and vulnerable on-screen persona. For her to try to be as cynical and independent as the Bridget in the book appeared to be, might not have worked as successfully. I thought her accent and mannerisms were impressively convincing. The acting was slightly hammy in certain places (like the part when she takes over driving the car near the end - a bit TOO childish for a woman in her 30's I thought) but nonetheless endearing and attractive - I simply could not imagine another Hollywood actress playing the part so well and paying so much attention to detail in trying to be 'British'. I would like to have seen someone like Kate Winslett doing a more hard-bitten interpretation but then it would have been an entirely different film.
When I saw it in the cinema, it was a Monday evening - usually the dead zone... it was packed.. and the atmosphere was great. From the opening scene where Bridget mimes to that anthem of singletons everywhere 'All By Myself' (how many of us relate to THAT one !!) the whole audience was laughing out loud in sympathy and cringe-inducing recognition, and the belly laughs continued throughout until my jaw ached.
At the end of the film the audience spontaneously applauded (and this was in a British cinema!) which said volumes to me about the way this film appealed to everyone on some level - including the men, who seemed to enjoy it just as much as the girls.
How many women's jaws dropped at the first sight of Hugh Grant in the lift! Wow! Just raw bad-boy charisma wrapped in an angelic looking package... Definitely a welcome but not altogether alien concept of Hugh. Hugh has always played such affable good guys, but I think the Divine incident made him more interesting and 3-dimensionsal and the Daniel Cleaver character captures that duality brilliantly.. What is more attractive than the charming and slightly vulnerable [guy] that every woman thinks she can make fall for her?! And Colin Firth as Darcy... Again, any woman who ever saw Pride and Prejudice knows what a knee-trembler he is.. Tall, dark, brooding and intense, always leaving you with the feeling that there is more to discover - especially in that jumper ;-) I remember him when he was in Dutch Girls years ago and he always had a certain something. I can see him being the next big thing in Hollywood - and about time too... I also liked the fight scene. It was not only a quite realistic portrayal of the way guys actually fight like kids in the playground (instead of the ridiculous macho trading of endless punches and kicks you get in most Hollywood films) but it's such a British idea that a guy could land in your dinner and then say 'Sorry' ;-)
By the way, I could not believe what a big deal was made of Renee's weight in the press. Since when is a size 12 woman fat! My ... no wonder we are all so insecure. I did not consider Renee fat in the film at all, but I did think that some of the camera angles and clothes were deliberately unflattering to make the most of a comedic situation.. Bridget herself embodies the constant battle to meet the expectations of what a woman should be to be considered 'acceptable' by society but like most of us is defined by the energy we spend in the struggle and the failure when we could be ploughing that energy into claiming the power that 50% of the population should have (yes clever plot guys but we're catching on...).
What Bridget does is show us that we can be interesting and sexy without being perfect or a size 6. Daniel Cleaver's 'hello Mummy' moment serves to remind us that men don't just go for the Lara in the little knickers, they will cheat on a Lara just as easily as they will cheat on a Bridget, fat has nothing to do with it. Lara's bitchy comment 'I thought you said she was thin' simply affirms the fact that Daniel is a liar, that Bridget's 'size' was actually not as important to him as to Lara, and Lara shows herself to be self-absorbed and deluded about her own attractiveness. The idea that only beautiful people have beautiful lives is blown away.
And when Mark Darcy tells Bridget he likes her 'just as she is', it is a revelation that redeems the whole male species ;-)
So - impressive acting, great casting, a great interpretation of the book which doesn't detract from its message or its magic, a film that people can relate to and that can provoke conversation about the nature of people and relationships. Funny, sad, romantic, with a bit of action thrown in too.. What more could you ask?
A big 5-star thumbs up for Bridget from me