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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 Rob Gonsalves

"Another dead-on Zellweger performance."
4 stars

British male thirtysomethings had Nick Hornby's 'High Fidelity' as their Bible; British female thirtysomethings had Helen Fielding's 'Bridget Jones's Diary,' and now both have been made into excellent movies starring Americans.

Whereas the High Fidelity movie successfully transplanted its action from London to Chicago, Bridget sensibly stays in the U.K., the better to profit from the likes of Hugh Grant, coscripter Richard Curtis (a whiz at crafting Brit humor that isn't too Brit for Yanks -- see Four Weddings and a Funeral), and Colin Firth in a BBC-addict in-joke playing a suitor named Mark Darcy (whom Fielding patterned on Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, played in the BBC rendition by ... Colin Firth).

Somewhere near the start of any review of the movie, there must be a relieved acknowledgment that Renée Zellweger, a born Texan, not only nails the most beloved woman of modern British fiction but embodies and owns her. This will come as scant surprise to those who followed her in Nurse Betty and came away feeling she could do anything, including but not limited to walking on water, though she's best when playing lovably befuddled women who find it difficult even to negotiate a hallway without disaster. In my review of High Fidelity, I said you could read the book without imagining John Cusack in the lead, but it was impossible to imagine the movie without him; here I must up the ante and say that it's now impossible to read the book without picturing Zellweger as Bridget.

The script, credited to Fielding, Curtis, and Andrew Davies (who adapted the current The Tailor of Panama and also, ahem, wrote the abovementioned Pride and Prejudice adaptation), tracks the book's events fairly closely. Bridget, a 32-year-old "singleton" who works in publishing, is torn between slick bastard Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant, having a ball decimating the dithering-nice-guy persona he's dined out on in America since Four Weddings) and the rather bland-seeming Mark Darcy, who has the grave misfortune of being introduced to Bridget (and us) while dying of embarrassment in a sweater of shattering bad taste. Bridget's mum (Gemma Jones), meanwhile, has left her kindly but inattentive husband (Jim Broadbent) for a hideous TV huckster with a variety of incrementally fake tans.

So, here's another romantic comedy in which our heroine learns, both by experience and example, that slick boys are bad and nice boys who like you despite your flaws definitely have their strong points. Readers of Fielding's book will miss its spiky wit and inextricably British asides (one of my favorites: "Keen on a man who comes round late, in stark contrast to people who come round early, startling and panicking one and finding unsightly items still unhidden in the home"); perhaps nothing short of a filmed audiobook could deliver the style intact. Still, what saved the book from being the whining of a bitter singleton (as opposed to Laura Zigman's annoying Animal Husbandry with its stupid bull/cow theory of romance, recently adapted as Someone Like You) was Bridget's helplessly funny, self-deprecating take on her life, and the movie has an equivalent in its star, who lets us feel Bridget's unhappiness and vulnerability without soliciting our pity.

The first-time director, Sharon Maguire, is a friend of Fielding, who based Bridget's foulmouthed friend Sharon on her. Maguire does a smooth job of it, though shooting (somewhat unaccountably) in widescreen and hiring Jane Campion's ace cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh; here and there, the movie gleams when it should just groan and sniffle with a hangover. Maguire does have a way with easygoing slapstick, as when a drunken, forlorn Bridget lip-synchs to "All By Myself" under the opening credits, and the director stages what must be the most hilariously maladroit and drawn-out fistfight since Roddy Piper and Keith David went at it in John Carpenter's They Live. But mostly her achievement is to stay out of Renée Zellweger's way and let her be Bridget.

Fielding published a 'Bridget Jones' sequel (in which, ironically, Colin Firth appears as himself), and there are sure to be more; if Zellweger's 'Nurse Betty' costar Morgan Freeman warrants a franchise (see 'Along Came a Spider'), then this enchanting actress, brimming with heart and soul, surely deserves her own series too.

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originally posted: 01/28/07 09:34:13
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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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