Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) Directed by Sharon Maguire. With Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.
Based upon author Helen Fielding’s celebrated novel of the same name, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a witty perspective on a dippy British spinster struggling to find Mr Right amid the calamity of her socially awkward, scatterbrained inward self.
In the title role of Bridget, American actress Renee Zellweger is a good fit. With a few extra pounds to properly flesh out the role, a prim English accent, and a rosy-faced, happy go lucky approach – Zellweger helps ease the character off the page.
Director Sharon Maguire, who is previously better known for music videos and documentaries, does a good job of page-hopping through the narrative, despite far too many soundtrack moments. That said, it’s worth remembering the terra firma we’re on is very much that of the feel-good variety.
Occasionally threatening to steal the show outright is a delightfully devilish Hugh Grant as love-rat-casanova, Daniel Cleaver. Grant’s comic timing and delivery is perfectly tuned to his character, and his on/off romance with Bridget provides some of the best highlights. With Colin Firth and a host of instantly recognisable British comic and drama talent rounding out the cast, the film ambles along towards engaging, if not predictably predictable finale.
When all’s said, Bridget Jones’s Diary is an accessible crowd-pleaser. Cynics might sneer at the overly sentimental, heightened state, but we don’t come to these films for kitchen sink realism – we’re here to escape it. 4/5