In English class (British Literature), we are reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and last week, my teacher gave us an extra credit assignment where we are to write a paper comparing Austen's classic book and this Renee Zellweger/Hugh Grant movie. Luckily, Bridget Jones's Diary is anything but a forced school assignment; it is one of the funniest romantic comedies to hit theaters since Notting Hill.
Zellweger stars as Bridget Jones, a slightly overweight and alcoholic British woman who also smokes, and can't hold onto a man if her life depended on it. Her mother is trying to set her up with a man by the name of Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), but he is rather forward and at first glance rather "disagreeable." Meanwhile, she has her eyes set on another man (Grant), who has it out for Darcy, who is in love with Bridget. If you've read Pride and Prejudice, you can notice the resemblance.
However, Bridget Jones's Diary pulls Austen's premise into the 21st century with clever and witty sex jokes, aimed at the thirty-something woman. I'm sure some of the older couples in the audience were taken back and surprised by the honest and straightforward sexuality of the movie, but Bridget Jones's Diary doesn't present anything unless it is meant to be funny.
I was laughing out loud through much of the film, as Bridget encounters one disaster after another in search of the perfect man. The movie excels both in the dialogue and in the physical comedy.
The acting is top notch. Renee Zellweger continues to prove that she has real talent, and Bridget Jones's Diary is much more distinguishable than Nurse Betty, which also won Zellweger kudo points (I didn't see what was so great about that film, or her performance). Hugh Grant has always been one of my favorites and he plays a different type of character for once, but no matter how sleazy he is, he still manages to pull off a kind of charm. I wasn't as impressed with Colin Firth, who plays Mr. Darcy; in his attempt to act forward and bluntly, he comes off as rather dull. However, at the same time, he has a sparkle of personality that really comes out near the end of the film.
Bridget Jones's Diary has a lot of classic scenes, ones that will be remembered for a long time. The movie has romance, but it has more than enough company to tide over the male moviegoers. This movie really is for everyone, and should not be missed.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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