Directed by Sharon Maguire. UK/France. 2001.
Reviewed by Peter Anderson and Amy Johnston
But how fleshy was this cinematic cellulite? Well, for all the hoo-hah in the media world about Renee’s ‘ultimate’ sacrifice in the name of method acting… it wasn’t all that impressive. As in, it wasn’t at all cringe-worthy. Far from it, in fact: it was a million times more alluring than her various attempts at bringing a Giacometti sculpture to life in Nurse Betty, Chicago and on countless red carpets.
And the film itself? Well,
you could pinch an inch or two of sentimentality but, squeezed into a size
14 black dress labelled “Heartwarming Curtis-esque Britcom”, the overall
figure was as edifying as its heroine. The supporting
Furthermore, Renee’s accent
also holds up superbly (look at it this way all you “Our Bridget can’t
be played by a Yank!” patriots: it might have been Minnie Driver. Excuse
me while I take a bath now) and the belly laughs are
Packed with romanticised visions of 'Britishness', it comes as no surprise that Bridget Jones's Diary was such a hit in the States, selling itself as a friendly romp through the eyes of a 'thirtysomething' singleton with bigger briefs than brains. Hugely enjoyable if not extremely predictable, Firth is deliciously seductive as the brooding Mark Darcy, while Grant plays rather successfully against type as the irresistable bad-man Daniel Cleaver. It is, however, the strong supporting cast and successful screenplay that completes this film and makes it what it is. A comedy of cringes in obscene proportions, Bridget Jones, played nicely by Zellweger, is a character to laugh at, not with, and I found very little worth aspiring to in this character, likeable as she may be.
Overall Bridget Jones' s Diary is a very appealing and satisfying film, generating a peculiar warmth towards a character who is, undeniably, rather odd. Whilst it may be said the film is little more than Four Weddings and a Funeral all over again with the same, fairly unimaginative and effortless formula, it is an undeniably successful one - another hit for the triumphant British 'rom-com' team. Enthusiasts of the novel may be a little disappointed while anybody looking for a slice of harmless fun will love it.
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