Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Cert 15.

Director - Sharon Maguire.

Writer - Helen Fielding.

Starring - Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth & Jim Broadbent.


Premise - Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is a 30 something spinster whom after a particularly embarrassing Christmas party decides to keep a diary of her attempts to get a man and turn her life around.

I was very, very surprised by Bridget Jones's Diary. It's the kind of fluffy romantic comedy that I usually avoid like the plague, so it was with a heavy heart that I eventually (It had previously sat on top of my machine for a fortnight) plucked up the courage to slot the DVD into the tray. And I'm the first to admit it, I was wrong. Bridget Jones's is an entertaining film and I found myself enjoying it and laughing quite often.

Much of the films success can be attributed to Renee Zellweger in the title role. I like Zellweger as an actress, she has made some interesting films (she was one of the best things in the average Me, Myself & Irene) and I see her as quite a capable actress. She has proved in the past that she is adept at comedy and she goes on to cement this here. Here she boats an incredible English accent, it's so good that you forget that she ever spoke with that Texan drawl.

Jones is an incredibly insecure woman, but she is also a strong woman as she is able to take charge of her life and commit to making changes. I wasn't sure about BAFTA's decision to nominate Zellweger in the Best Female category last year, but after seeing the film I think it was deserved.

Zellweger is ably supported by Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Grant is a major repellent for me, I can't stand the bumbling fop routine that he wheels out endlessly film after film. So it's good to see that he has ditched his tried and tested routine and branched out a little here. His character is everything that his characters are usually not. He's smarmy, slimy and arrogant. A complete departure for Grant and it helps the film no end.

Colin Firth on the other hand plays the bumbling fop role that you would normally see Hugh Grant occupy. I've liked Firth ever since I saw the adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel 'Fever Pitch' (worth a look BTW) and he does well here with a strong performance.

I also like Jim 'Oscar' Broadbent as Bridget's dad, although I did think that the parents sub-plot was a little distracting from the rest of the film and could have easily been removed. Bridget's friends who are played by various UK TV stalwarts were a nice addition, although why does there always have to be an outrageously camp gay man in these kinds of films?

The script by Helen Fielding (she adapted her own book) is sharp and witty, although there is a LOT of swearing to be found. I don't have a problem with this personally. They are after all, only words and are used frequently in real life. However if you are sensitive about liberal use of the f, s and c-words then you might want to rethink that trip to Blockbuster.

Yes, the story of a woman who tries to improve her life to be happy, but finds that she is only truly happy when she is being herself is trite and has been done a bunch of times before. It's not an original idea by a long shot, but the excellent central performance by Zellweger, strong support roles and the sharp script raise Bridget Jones's Diary above the usual Meg Ryan romcom fare.


6/10 for Bridget Jones's Diary.

Poster Quote - Worth making an entry for.