Thursday, August 2, 2012

Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Diary

The author of the book this movie is derived from, admitted to using the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice as an inspiration for her book.[1] So Mark Darcy is based on Mr. Darcy. And just to make things fun, they picked Collin Firth for the role precisely because he played Mr. Darcy in the BBC production.[2] They also cast Hugh Grant as a scoundrel, much like Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice. But the connections don't stop there: both had the same screenwriter (Andrew Davies) and two other actors (Crispin Bonham-Carter and Lucy Robinson [3]).

My verdict: Leann and I agreed that there wasn't really anything redeeming about this movie.[4] I'm not sure why either of the men take interest in Bridget. Even when she's trying to look nice, she looks dumpy.[5] And she's really quite an unappealing person, in every aspect.[6] However, neither of the men are particularly admirable, either. Bridget's gaggle of friends could've been eliminated cleanly from the movie without detraction.[7] Other complaints: I didn't care for how much time Bridget spent in skimpy costumes and I got really, really, really tired of hearing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" on the soundtrack.

DISCLAIMER: I watched this film as edited for television. I have not seen the original R-rated version and cannot comment on its appropriateness.[8]


[1] See Jones's Diary (film)#Connection to Pride and Prejudice.

[2] Ironically, he took this role to try to distance himself from that performance.

[3] Lucy Robinson actually appears in the sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, as astutely pointed out by Snapdragon in the comments below.

[4] The film only makes one attempt at a message at all: Bridget's mother abandons the family and runs off with a shopping channel television host. She eventually comes back begging forgiveness, which Bridget's father grants. Here's my take: Bridget's father is right to forgive her mother for her blatant disregard of their marital vows, but the film gives him the wrong motives for doing so.

[5] Perhaps this was an early inspiration for Twilight? (Read my review of Twilight with RiffTrax here.)

[6] I didn't see anything remarkable about Renée Zellweger's performance, so I'm not sure why she was nominated for an Oscar. I liked her much better in Miss Potter (read my review here).

[7] I will say one thing though: with this movie (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), where she plays Moaning Myrtle, Shirley Henderson takes typecasting to a whole new level. Her character description for this movie is "[the] head of investment at Brightlings Bank who spends most of her time trapped in the lady's toilet, crying over [her] boyfriend." Wow.

[8] For more info, I suggest you consult the reviews at joness diary 2001.htm and jones's diary.html.

Image attributions:

Old Diary (which originally belonged to an LDS pioneer, James Calvin Sly) is in the public domain and is freely available at c sly journal.jpg. 


  1. Lucy Robinson isn't in this movie. She's in the sequel.

    'Edited for television' is, quite frankly, horrible.

  2. Thanks for the correction! I've adjusted the post accordingly.