Monday, September 12, 2016

Movie Review: "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001)

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Movie"Bridget Jones's Diary"
Director: Sharon Maguire
Year: 1995
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

A year in the love life of Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) as told by her.

"Bridget Jones's Diary" is directed by Sharon Maguire and based on the novel of the same name by Helen Fielding. It stars Renee Zellweger as the titular Bridget Jones, who is determined to spend the next year of her life working on self-improvement and is hoping to find romance so she doesn't die a lonely old spinster. She keeps a journal of her exploits and progress, and as she writes in her journal, we are read the entries as they are written through voice over done by Zellweger herself. Bridget has a bad encounter with a man named Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth, who is quite rude upon first impression, especially for someone wearing a sweater with a giant ugly reindeer on it. After writing him off as a miserable sod, her focus quickly shifts to her boss, Daniel Cleaver, played by Hugh Grant. Daniel is a ladies man, and Bridget begins to think they are more than what they actually are, even when they are in a relationship with one another. During this time, she begins to regularly run into Mark, though he always seems to be extremely awkward around her or Daniel due to some unresolved issues.

"Bridget Jones's Diary" is a pretty straight forward romantic comedy about an average woman who is a total wreck most of the time. Bridget often makes very bad decisions, but it's certainly for the benefit of the viewer because this is an extremely funny, delightful, fun film. We had forgotten how funny, in fact! This movie offers up a lot of laughs from Colin Firth's dry wit, Hugh Grant's debonair charm, and Renee Zellweger's awkward self-depreciation, overt snark, and general love of cussing. And speaking of Firth and Grant, these two are excellent in their portrayals of polar opposite men who eventually seem to be vying for Bridget's affections. There is a healthy helping of situational comedy, as well as bizarre happenings surrounding Jones and her family and friends, like when she shows up to a party in a skimpy bunny outfit and missed the memo about it not being a costume party. We find "Bridget Jones's Diary" to be quite endearing, even though it is 15 years old. We find ourselves laughing throughout the movie as there never seems to be a dull moment with Zellweger's perfect portrayal of this woman struggling with not only her age and weight, but how much she drinks and smokes, when she'll actually fall in love, and who she surrounds herself with outside of a romance sense. Sure, it's a bit formulaic, but we really like it none the less.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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