Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Diary

Renée Zellweger leads this goofy rom-com about a single woman in her thirties looking for the right man while confessing all her secrets in a diary. Bridget Jones drinks and smokes and her greatest fear is that she will one day end up on her own devoured by dogs after overdosing on ice cream, vodka, and self-help books. She has a crush on a suave editor Daniel (Hugh Grant) at the publishing company she works at. Daniel is a bad boy who charms and smirks his way into bringing Bridget into bed but stays steadfast that the relationship is not going anywhere.

Meanwhile, Bridget's mother (Gemma Jones) set Bridget up with a wealthy, staid divorcée lawyer Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Bridget used to act crazily as a child at Mark's birthday parties and it appeared as if Mark always had a crush on her. Bridget is a bit turned off by Mark's solemn nature plus Mark always has his coworker Natasha (Embeth Davidtz) shadowing him as she hopes to someday woo him. Bridget is led to believe that Mark once stole Daniel's wife and so she is under the impression that Mark is not a good guy.

The show has plenty of comedy as Bridget tends to find herself in plenty of embarrassing situations due to misunderstandings and awkward clumsiness. She gets knocked down but refuses to grow melancholic and picks herself back up using a catchy soundtrack and one too many cigarettes. One hilarious episode after another plays out as the love triangle dances around each other and the true nature of Bridget's two potential mates reveal themselves.

The setting of London increase the uptight manner of the characters and gives all the actors pleasing English accents. Zellweger is charming, Grant is smooth, and Firth is uptight yet wins over audiences by the end. There are classic scenes and it is no wonder that this movie became a standard bearer for romantic comedies and has spawned two sequels including Bridget Jones's Baby being released this weekend. 

The movie flirts with bigger issues like sexual harassment in the workplace but like the protagonist never takes itself too seriously. There is humor all over with a solid supporting cast including Jim Broadbent, James Callis, and Shirley Henderson (who played Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter 2 and is introduced in this movie crying in a bathroom). The major theme of the film is the increased pressure on women in their thirties to marry and procreate but changing times have found more independent women leading their own lives while Bridget toes the line between a spinster and a romantic making her a likable character that is fun to watch on screen. 

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