30-something, Single, 129lbs
Bridget Jones's Diary
Review by Ross Anthony

"Unless I changed my life I was destined to die alone and be found three weeks later, half-eaten by Alsatians." After a self-confidence-crashing single-person tragedy at Bridget Jones's Diaryher obliviously-crass mum's stuffy New Year's Eve party, Bridget Jones (Zellweger) convinces herself to change the direction of her nonexistent love life.

This British street-mouthed modernization of Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" scares up the same actor who played Darcy in the '95 BBC version. Zellweger resiliently sets herself up for fall after fall - a human bowling pin. Still, her heart is golden, smile charming and eyes devilishly naive.

Uncomfortable with her life, Jones attempts to resuscitate her fate, "This year will take total control of my life. Will make resolutions and keep them. Resolution Number One - in order to mark triumphant year in which everything stops being sh*t - Will keep a diary."

Single, she's attracted to her despicable boss (Grant), while avoiding a reindeer wearing barrister (lawyer). Her heart, pride, and love life at risk, Jones endeavors to find the man of her dreams. All the while, a faithful trio of friends cheers her on from the sidelines.

Brash dialogue contrasts the soft and sweet cinematography, and hosts most of the humor. While a great deal of the comedy is respectable, the film over-employs "set-up-then-punch" cheap sitcom yucks and indulges in a few visual slapstick dips.

The story spins artfully up to the climax where it bumps like a firefighter hitting buttocks to floor after sliding confidently down the pole. Here, the filmmakers couldn't resist one more of an already trying string of teasing delays to the resolution. Too bad, that last precisely poorly timed and inconsistently daft delay broke the back of what could have been a very fine film.

Zellweger is delicious, Grant at top form and Collin solid. Gorgeously filmed, "Jones's Diary" plays like a British feature version of "Friends" minus the laugh track. Like fudge chocolate, its momentary burst of flavor proves insubstantial.

  • Bridget Jones's Diary. Copyright © 2001. Rated R.
  • Starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant.
  • Directed by Sharon Maguire.
  • Screenplay by Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis.
  • Based on the novel by Helen Fielding.
  • Produced by Time Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jonathan Cavendish at Working Title/Universal/Studiocanal/Miramax.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:32 PDT