“Bridget Jones”s Diary” is delightful. It is based on the Helen Fielding novel of the same title, and is the story of Bridget Jones, a 30-something London singleton, who is certain that her life will improve if she could only lose weight, stop smoking and start dating the right kind of men a mantra many women not only repeat to themselves, but also truly believe.
Bridget (an endearing Renee Zellweger) is extremely self-aware and decides that one way to accomplish her goals is to keep a diary. The diary, which consists of a number of voice-overs throughout the film, is perfect it is funny, sharp-witted, perceptive and overall right-on with the thoughts of the average single woman.
The story begins at an annual day after new-years turkey and curry party thrown by Bridget”s over-the top mother. Bridget”s mom, who believes class is defined by a gherkin on a toothpick, is incessantly trying to fix Bridget up with available young men.
This year”s attempt turns out to be quite handsome yet unable to deal with Bridget”s unabashed personality. The audience immediately sees the truth behind author Helen Fielding”s description of Bridget: Uncensored uninhibited unmarried.
From this disaster, Bridget rebounds quickly with an interoffice affair with her gorgeous and suave boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). It seems that Cleaver understands Bridget and that they can have fun, be intimate and enjoy each other immensely.
Yet, all is not puppy dogs and rainbows for Bridget she has many more adventuress in love and life with which she must deal.
From this point the story unfolds into pure enjoyment. The dialogue is smart and funny and the acting is stellar. Fielding, who participated in writing the screenplay, has adapted her novel quite well to the big screen.
Who really deserves much of the credit for the success of this film, however, is Zellweger. She portrays Bridget as both tough and sweet and easily embodies every quirk and every comedic detail that defines the character. Zellweger, a native Texan, adopts a perfect British accent, adds 20 pounds to play the role and seemingly effortlessly nails the part.
Both Grant and Colin Firth, who play the men in Bridget”s life, also deserve praise for their acting. Grant departs from his usual bumbling and sweet leading man and takes on a more devious version of himself it is a good change for Grant.
Firth plays the conservative and somewhat abrasive Mark Darcy. He, like the others, does an excellent job.
This movie is truly priceless. It takes a cynical yet comical look at a single woman looking to be loved just the way she is.
Admittedly, I do think it is a bit of a chick flick yet many of the scenes caused out-loud, riotous laughter amongst the audience, men included.
With that in mind, I would say there are infinitely worse chick-flicks out there, and this one can certainly be enjoyed by both men and women.