Bridget Joness Diary
Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is an almost 30 single British woman who works in the publishing industry. When she meets an old family friend, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) at a Christmas party and overhears him critiquing her physical appearance and bad habits, she decides to keep a journal for a year and make some changes in her life. She begins a diet, gains 74 pounds (and loses 72), smokes over 5,000 cigarettes, has an affair she might regret with her boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), and ultimately finds true love with the most unlikely man.
The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Helen Fielding and addresses some funny situations and poignant comments about single life. Bridget goes to several dinner parties with well-meaning married couples who always say something to make her feel even more “desperate and dateless”. Zellweger is sweet, humorous, does a good job of keeping her British accent consistent throughout the movie and VERY brave for gaining thirty pounds and willing to appear in her underwear. Hats off to any actress that will play an overweight female role these days. Her focus on losing weight is something almost every woman can relate to.
Bridget’s sexual escapades with her boyfriend/boss is a painful reminder of exactly why women shouldn’t date their boss or coworker and everyone will relate to the awkward situations she gets into professionally. I like Grant in this bad-boy role, he can play a British snob like no one else. Firth plays the other wannabe boyfriend and is the perfect British snob. In truth, he is the only character with any real class or dignity. There are some amusing moments, good acting and interesting British humor that is hard to understand at times but still entertaining.
Despite the great cast, funny moments and a female lead whose weight issues make it an easy to relate to and realistic story, the part that doesn’t work? It’s a British movie. The Brits have no problems with chain-smoking, using the f-word in practically every sentence and making light of their sexual prowess to the point that it loses any romantic qualities or sincerity. This movie overdoes it in all of these departments (because of the very nature of the story) and we end up seeing a sort of pathetic, average, chain smoking, overweight, alcoholic woman who has sex with her boss thinking it will make her desirable, and desperately wanting to “land a man” before thirty. All of these areas in her personal life are explored through her journal so that when she sleeps with Grant, we never get the impression she’s doing it because she truly loves him or has a deep relationship with him, rather it’s because they’re both turned on by each other and he has nothing better to do. She of course is devastated when she learns he has cheated on her and she does have her moment of glory in the office telling him off.
Basically Bridget is a nice woman whom you can’t blame for wanting to be married, but she’s no role model. In the end, despite the fact that Bridget is still overweight, a chain smoker, an alcoholic, supposedly has changed because she doesn’t go for the desperate play, and finally gets her man, deep down every “single” woman in the audience knows, it would never happen that way in real life.