As a huge fan of the books, I had incredibly high expectations of the movie. In order for the movie to work for me, it had to capture Bridget's plucky-heroine character and the hilarious-poignant emotions that are in the book. Needless to say, `Bridget Jones's Diary' the movie worked very, very, very well. Although Helen Fielding also wrote the screenplay (w/ Richard Curtis, very skilled with romantic comedies) and keeps the laughs coming, this movie could have fallen flat on its face. But it doesn't because one, the casting is absolutely divine and two, smartly builds on some elements the book downplays.
Renee Zellweger is absolutely perfect as Bridget Jones. She has always been one of my favorite actresses and here, she totally displays Bridget's pathetic cuteness. Zellweger gained weight for this role, too, so she looks adorably plump. It's very, very hard to not fall in love with her the moment you see her at her family's Christmas party or drinking alone at home or listening to sad, Celine Dion music. (You have a heart of stone if you aren't moved to laughs or tears or pity for her.) I can't imagine anyone else playing Bridget Jones. Zellweger fits the role because she is very much normal and approachable…we can relate to her.
As Daniel Cleaver (her caddish Cassanova lover/boss), Hugh Grant is smoldering and hilarious. (Ok, I might be a little biased because I've been in love with him for ages and ages, but you can't deny he is a great comedic actor.) There's no trace of his stuttering that we saw (and I loved) in `Four Weddings and a Funeral' or `Sense and Sensibility.' Grant morphs effortlessly into a cad that we all love to hate and all love to love. Yes, it's a paradox, but that is what Grant brings to his role. He makes being `bad' look so sexy. You can't take your eyes off him; he brings his own humor to his role. It's lovely, smoldering, and incredibly sexy.
Colin Firth is also a delight to watch onscreen as Mark Darcy (I think I might be in love with him, too). He is also sexy and smoldering, but not in the same wild, fiery way as Daniel Cleaver. Firth brings a very cute sweetness to his role. I don't know if it is his adorable face or his hair or the way he dresses or just the fact that he is a major sex symbol, but you can't help but fall in love with him the MOMENT you see him onscreen. There is also one very beautiful moment where he tells Bridget, `I like you very much…just the way you are.' It's incredibly romantic and, for me, ranks right up there with Tom Cruise's `You complete me' in `Jerry Maguire.' He also has rather explosive chemistry with Renee Zellweger, which is moving and sexy all at the same time. (And, of course, the author Helen Fielding used Colin Firth as the basis for Mark Darcy, so it all works out marvelously.)
I also mentioned that the movie smartly builds on some elements that the book downplays. Yes, there are certain parts of the movie that cannot be found in the book, but I'm still glad they put them in the movie. Most of what they added doesn't necessarily build on plot but it does add to the characters. I don't want to give anything away because it's rather hilarious what unfolds onscreen. The movie is filmed in an almost Ally McBeal type of way but it remains true to the sincerity, cuteness, and pathetic naivete that Bridget Jones embodies. There are no pretensions. It's an entirely wonderful film.
Bridget Jones is an average woman struggling against her age, her weight, her job, her lack of a man, and her many imperfections. As a New Year's Resolution, Bridget decides to take control of her life, starting by keeping a diary in which she will always tell the complete truth. The fireworks begin when her charming though disreputable boss takes an interest in the quirky Miss Jones. Thrown into the mix are Bridget's band of slightly eccentric friends and a rather disagreeable acquaintance who Bridget cannot seem to stop running into or help finding quietly attractive.
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August 2, 2016 at 8:09 PM