Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Comedy of Manners  |   Release Date - Apr 13, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - France, United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

Many objected to Texan Renée Zellweger's casting, but she more than does justice to the title British singleton in the film adaptation of Helen Fielding's cheeky Pride and Prejudice update Bridget Jones's Diary. Though co-scripters Fielding, Richard Curtis, and Andrew Davies do away with most of the novel's accounting of Bridget's calories, cigarettes, and alcohol, and sadly limit her friends' presence, they retain some of the book's wittiest Bridget-isms through voice-overs as well as dialogue. Director Sharon Maguire (Fielding's inspiration for "Shazzer") occasionally dwells too much on Bridget's humiliations on her way to romance, but Zellweger's performance overcomes the flaws. Famously sporting 20 extra pounds and a pitch-perfect suburban-London accent, Zellweger charmingly nails Bridget's comic self-loathing and sneakily confident sass, underlining why hunky Colin Firth and sexy Hugh Grant convincingly come to hilariously foppish blows over her. Having a humorous go at their own images, Firth's upstanding Mark Darcy resurrects his Pride and Prejudice (1995) Mr. Darcy smolder, while Grant's Daniel Cleaver is precisely not his usual stammering nice guy. Bridget may not be a feminist heroine for the 21st century, but Bridget Jones's Diary at least manages to be an increasingly rare bird: a clever romantic comedy.