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Overall Rating

Awesome: 32.2%
Worth A Look44.07%
Average: 11.3%
Pretty Bad: 6.78%
Total Crap: 5.65%

9 reviews, 123 user ratings

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Bridget Jones's Diary
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by Erik Childress

"Renee Shines In Funny, But Familiar 'Bridget'"
4 stars

Godard’s quote is almost a cliché by now. You know the one about the best way to critique a film is to make another film. Simple yet poetic and it applies just about every other week as genres and plots, like death, usually come in threes. Just two weeks ago the Ashley Judd starrer, Someone Like You, opened. It actually reminded me of death. It was about a single woman who seems to meet the man of her dreams, only to be dumped and turned into a man-hater with ridiculous theories. Now comes the adaptation of Helen Fielding’s successful Bridget Jones’s Diary, and it’s virtually the same movie except with a lot more laughs.

Renee Zellweger plays Fielding’s fictional alter ego, adopting an English accent and a few extra pounds to play the boozing, smoking, single gal in her early thirties. When she gets dissed by the surfaced bore Mark Darcy (Colin Firth); she adopts a new mantra as well. She takes up a diary, vowing to never to get involved with any guy embodying every man-hating adjective known to (wo)man. Enter Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), her boss. After some e-flirting that a litigious female with no sense of humor would consider sexual harassment, Bridget goes against the grain of her own advice and starts a relationship with Cleaver that goes from “perfect” to “wiping Saddam Hussein’s arse.”

Thus, Bridget starts over once again to forget about men and to become independent. She gets a new job, proving that a great majority of television reporters don’t really need any more qualification than a cute face and a willingness to sleep with their boss. And who needs a man, especially when her own mum (Gemma Jones) begins an affair on poor old da-ad with a chameleonic home shopping host. But her strives for self-reliance aren’t that easy when Darcy keeps popping up like a Dickens’ ghost.

Bridget’s independence and occasional wit are what promises to make this film a true original, setting itself apart from the “Someone Like You’s” of the world. Yet, she is still a character that must wade through the waters of repetition. The romantic triangle with the dominant gender having a good and a bad playmate is older than the advent of the motion picture. In fact, Bridget Jones’s Diary owes more than a few nods to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In its own copycat ways, Diary is to Prejudice as Clueless was to Emma.

Darcy could just as easily be Mr. Darcy from Austen’s novel. The casting of Colin Firth in that role is a double masterstroke. Not only does it fly against his usual type as the “other, less appealing guy” (English Patient, Shakespeare in Love), but Firth actually played Mr. Darcy in a 1995 miniseries. Here his charm creeps up on you slowly and wins us all over. Hugh Grant also gets to shed his familiar lovelorn image in a terrific performance as the shifty Cleaver. Here’s an actor who doesn’t get enough credit because of his customary lonesome loser from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill”, but can create an entirely different characterization with just a simple wicked smile.

This is Renee’s film to make or break though and she is looking forward to at least one nomination next year (at least a Golden Globe for Comedy). Her warmth shines through in every scene she’s in, embodying Bridget Jones with a performance that not only can we not see any other actress pulling it off, but that the film could not survive without. Despite the objections of the English hierarchy to Zellweger’s casting, her accent becomes so natural that some are liable to forget that she’s American at all. Her “extra weight” really never becomes the issue that I think the filmmakers had hoped. Frankly, it never looks distracting and actually does her justice, which likely isn’t the point.

Little characteristics like that within the story prevent Bridget Jones from becoming what it hoped to preach. The opening scenes of Bridget reluctantly humoring her mother’s attempts at fix-ups and sitting alone at home, drinking vodka and singing “I’ll By Myself” all have a hard tinge of truth and sadness along with the big laughs. Somewhere along the path of Bridget’s poor choices in men and occasional wit, you can see someone who’s not as smart as Fielding would have us believe. Having not read the book, that may be a translation issue, but Bridget isn’t exactly the model that women everywhere should scalp for themselves (especially not after my 2nd viewing/sneak preview experience. Read Here.) I mean, how empowering is it to have the heroine chasing after the man she wants through the snow in her panties.

None of this is to say that Bridget Jones’s Diary isn’t as enjoyable a comedy as you’ll likely to find this year (so far.) Coming from the writers credited with the likes of Four Weddings, Notting Hill, Blackadder and several Jane Austen adaptations, we’re dealing with seasoned pros here who know that good solid laughs can overcome even the most redundant of plots. Even the standard fight scene rises to a new comic level.

Someone Like You had ideas that were half-baked and a lovely Van Morrison song. Bridget Jones has some of the same half-baked ideas, but it has big laughs and the same Van Morrison song twice. Do the math, even if it is more like pre-algebra than calculus. Bridget Jones’s Diary starts off with the promise of one of the year’s best films and it should have followed through on that promise, instead of becoming just another comparison.

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originally posted: 04/14/01 01:20:59
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User Comments

6/25/18 Louise A travesty to have a bad American actress in the title role. 2 stars
8/18/12 edutra awful. not one piece of enterainment 1 stars
5/08/12 LilWilko haha have to do a review on this movie, and its one of the funnyest movies ive watched (: 5 stars
4/06/12 SEAN DUTRA a pain to watch. rather sleep 1 stars
4/03/12 Georgiana Darcy. Colin Firth shits all over Fitzwilliam Darcy. Hey Firth, what did he do to you? 2 stars
9/28/11 Heather Purplethorne Couldn't make me interested in the title character. Too bad she kept a diary. 2 stars
3/06/11 That girl Helen Fielding, do you have a drivers license? You should drive a cab. 2 stars
3/04/11 Rita God, I hope Renee Zellweger never makes another movies of any kind. 3 stars
2/22/10 Elizabeth Bennett Mr. Darcy is the best of men. Mark Darcy is a mediocrity, so is Colin Firth. 1 stars
12/16/09 A Girl bridget is just so lovable 5 stars
7/12/09 the dork knight Didn't care to see Zellweger's ass but even she seemed sexy by the end. 5 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. i laughed so much watching this :] 4 stars
2/19/07 Nick Maday A completely fantastic adaptation of Helen Fielding's re-telling of Pride and Prejudice. 5 stars
1/29/07 Lisa Craven I just love Bridget/Renee...she can do no wrong by me, and Hugh Grant is just delightful 5 stars
12/01/06 SabresFanatic I AM BJ. Seriously one of the best Rom-Com's in years! Just naughty enough that even guys 5 stars
10/20/06 MP Bartley Aside from some annoying stereotypes and cliches, good fun. Zellweger is excellent. 4 stars
9/16/06 Lizzie Bennett What's this Pride&Prejudice talk? I saw no resemblance to Pride&Prejudice whatsoever! 2 stars
5/03/06 Ashley Hinz I liked this well enough to watch it a few times. 4 stars
1/03/06 Daveman Vacuous, bourgeois nonsense, not even closely representative of the British singleton. 2 stars
12/23/05 Jeff Anderson Surprisingly weak & D.O.A. See EASY with Marguerite Moreau instead, a MUCH better film!!!!! 1 stars
12/30/04 Jenna Furr What you mean, Pici? Isn't THIS the first one? 2 stars
12/05/04 Sarah I wish I would have walked out, it was absolutely awful 1 stars
11/16/04 Pici The first one was awful - this one was HORRENDOUS. 1 stars
11/14/04 ashley The sequal to the first on is as good if not better than the first one 5 stars
11/13/04 Sarah It was awesome really funny and 2 really hot guys are in it 5 stars
11/06/04 Dunce Decent books don't always make decent films. 3 stars
11/03/04 Peter Caron This movie is one of the funniest flicks I've seen in a long time. Zellweger was great. 4 stars
10/24/04 Saddam Hussein I'd rather have a job wiping Renee Zellweger's ass than watch BRIDGET JONES'S DIARRHEA. 2 stars
10/24/04 Elena The guy who played Darcy in Pride + Prejudice also played Darcy in this movie. Quirky humor 5 stars
9/12/04 A cline It was not bad. I'd like to know how she diets the weight off after the movie. 4 stars
8/05/04 Allison I loved it. A nice, and witty movie. 5 stars
6/25/04 rosebud Great chick-flick! Renee was wonderful! 5 stars
6/23/04 nikki fab film,,watch it all the time!! 5 stars
6/02/04 chinky brilliant, love,Love,LOVE this flick!!! 5 stars
5/03/04 nada nazzal it is very good film and renee was really very good 5 stars
3/03/04 mary a film that u can watch ova +ova again n still laugh the same each time! 4 stars
2/18/04 C. Hachtel EXCELLENT - EXCELLENT Movie 5 stars
2/15/04 john bale Renee's Bridget is terrific and its typical British fun movie 4 stars
1/25/04 Elena The guy who played Darcy in Pride + Prejudice also played Darcy in this movie. Quirky humor 5 stars
12/29/03 gina creed favourite chick-flick, as am real life bridget jones! could identify with charachter. 5 stars
11/04/03 Charles Tatum Not laugh out loud, but Renee is sexy and great 4 stars
8/18/03 kate inesoria i feel like i want to be bridgette jones for a week.. 5 stars
5/22/03 leila kamali 5 stars
5/20/03 Shadaan Felfeli Renee looks so nice and healthy in this film as compared to chicago.A fun film. 4 stars
2/23/03 Fatuous One Actualy clever and witty! Wonderfully acted. R.Z. looks great, too. 4 stars
2/14/03 Blabity blah Funniest fight scene ever!!! This movie was hilarious. 5 stars
1/01/03 Andy Todes depressing how people actually like this film. (R.Z. was phenomenal in "jerry maguire.") 1 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Renée was great! 4 stars
7/27/02 karen goldstein THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/01/02 Jay Who could love Bridget? Sucks all ass. 1 stars
6/05/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi bridget jones, wanted sex goddess with a very naughty man between her theighs, oh hi mum... 5 stars
4/11/02 Saddam Hussein I'd rather have a job wiping Renee Zellweger's ass than watch Bridget Jones's Diarrhea 3 stars
3/31/02 Carmen Crowe Why not SAVING SILVERMAN for best actor (sensible as this for best actress)? 3 stars
3/31/02 Jeremy itz o...............kay 4 stars
3/29/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) Really funny. I don't like Oxygen or WE. I think they're sexist, but this was good! 5 stars
3/14/02 Tiah I just rented this film and I thought it was actaully better than the previews let on. 4 stars
3/11/02 R.W. Welch Amusing romantic comedy with stand-out work by Renee. 4 stars
3/04/02 Paul W. Not THAT bad 3 stars
3/01/02 Chowie I quite liked it Sneza.....and if you had have left it on for more han 20 minutes.......... 5 stars
2/23/02 Sneza I turned it off within 20 minutes! What a waste of a rental! 2 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Some good fun. 4 stars
2/15/02 Carmen Crowe Why not SAVING SILVERMAN for best actor (sensible as this for best actress)? 3 stars
2/02/02 Saddam Hussein I'd rather have a job wiping Renee Zellweger's ass than watch Bridget Jones's Diarrhea. 3 stars
1/18/02 Scottish Kilt crap, hughs a poofter cause he likes rugby. 2 stars
1/14/02 Flick Chick is Renee Zellwhateverthehell related to someone in the business? 1 stars
11/27/01 Keith surprisingly good for a chick-flick 4 stars
10/27/01 Monday Morning Nice. But a chick flick any way you slice it.. 4 stars
10/20/01 Tam Fanastic feel-good film! Humourous, superbly acted and well-written. 5 stars
10/16/01 Jaynne I love it when Bridget says nice boys dont kiss like that "yes, they Fuckin do" 5 stars
10/15/01 The Bomb 69 funny movie if a bit out of control at times 4 stars
10/14/01 Andrew Carden At Times Funny, but She Gets Out Of Control. 3 stars
10/13/01 RehabBoy Was much better than I thought it would be 5 stars
10/10/01 P.Rodriguez Hey quite good. even hugh 'faggy' Grant! 4 stars
9/04/01 kris Simply average. 3 stars
8/27/01 Al Oh Yeah Baby!!! 5 stars
8/23/01 Reini Urban Bit disappointing. Not in the funeral&wedding, jerry macguire class, only notting hill... 4 stars
8/22/01 Vikki Cooke It was sensational, lots of laughs and good for the heart and soul 5 stars
8/16/01 Trine Love the film. Colin Firth is great 5 stars
8/15/01 ^Elendil^ Hollywood is warped. 60 kg is not 'fat'. 4 stars
8/15/01 GeoPersius I Love Colin FIrth! Great Movie 5 stars
8/14/01 Bob Great 5 stars
8/08/01 hum charming. best fight scene for some time! 4 stars
8/04/01 viking Renee Zellweger was great !!! 4 stars
8/04/01 Lisa I really approve of this movie! 4 stars
8/03/01 Anna A fun, sweet, humourous movie 4 stars
7/26/01 kris Just average. 3 stars
7/26/01 Jenny Theatre is what I do with my life - so I'm picky. But this movie made my suggestion list. 4 stars
7/25/01 Chris Shigihara Absolutely delightful film.Have seen 48 times to date.Great acting & screenplay. 5 stars
7/22/01 Linda A comedy that makes you laugh! What a refreshing concept. Zellweger is astonishing! 5 stars
7/20/01 matthew smith delightfully witty and one of the funniest films of the year. 5 stars
7/19/01 Carole Poland Brilliant! It is my new favorite film! Everyone is great especially Colin Firth! 5 stars
7/05/01 Jed Exceptional writing make for a wonderful romantic comedy 5 stars
6/22/01 Onyx Enjoyed it thoroughly. Love Colin Firth Yummy 4 stars
6/11/01 Angela M. Murtagh Boring and predictable...slow...bad spunk! 2 stars
6/08/01 Hawkeye A great film, and Rene Zellweger does a wonderful job. Just as good as the book! 5 stars
6/05/01 Sandpiper Hilarious and refreshing change from typical drab comedies. 5 stars
5/30/01 Bud A great date movie. Warm,funny,great characters and a happy ending. 4 stars
5/29/01 Andy Meakin Laff a minute...EXCELLENT 5 stars
5/21/01 tnt cute and enjoyable....but once you leave the theater it is forgotten! 3 stars
5/18/01 zeitgeist for me to like a romantic comedy set in britain says something 4 stars
5/15/01 Gail Splendid 5 stars
5/15/01 Amy Hill Wow. A hilarious film that goes stright from the screen into your heart!!! Ten out of ten! 5 stars
5/09/01 Ashley P WOW 5 stars
5/07/01 Heather Hooray, a good chick flick for a change, loved the Pride & Prejudice connection 5 stars
5/07/01 Suzz fluff but fun fluff 4 stars
5/05/01 astrotart This flick really hit close to home...and the guys will dig it too! 5 stars
4/28/01 Monster W. Kung Average, ridicolously over-hyped film. Some fun parts, but not that many. 3 stars
4/25/01 K nowhere near as good as book, but your date will love it. 3 stars
4/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) WHOO!! Truth Will Set You Free--Fuck off, you misogynistic prick!! 4 stars
4/23/01 y2mckay One of the more tolerable chick-flicks I've been dragged to. Hugh Grant was funny for once 4 stars
4/21/01 That Guy Ally McBeal-like date movie with cute Zellweger. No fear, men - not just a chick flick. 4 stars
4/20/01 Monster W. Kung Average comedy, nothing more, nothing less. 3 stars
4/19/01 Tam Warm and funny. Brought it all home for us singletons. Zellweger was great! 5 stars
4/19/01 SUZL4 I laughed very hard!! Zellweger, Hugh, and Colin were great!! 5 stars
4/18/01 nowak Only pretends to be witty. Quite stupid and Firth is weak.. 2 stars
4/17/01 Greyjack Very entertaining light fare. Good date movie. 4 stars
4/17/01 poetchuck One of the best movies to take a nap to. Not funny, not charming just boring. 1 stars
4/15/01 John C Maynard Wonderful modern version of Pride and Prejudice.. 5 stars
4/14/01 Gary Mitchell good, I was one of the people with the movie man to see the screwed up version of the movie 4 stars
4/13/01 Julia Much more Funny than I expected! (And those shameful memories it evoked!!) Thank You! 5 stars
4/08/01 grunter Zellweger nails the accent, too bad it was for a parallel universe "Ally McBeal" episode 4 stars
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  13-Apr-2001 (R)
  DVD: 09-Nov-2004


  26-Jul-2001 (M)

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