out of 4
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Bridget Jones's Diary
Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4
Amid a cauldron of controversy, director Sharon Maguire cast an
American, Renee Zellweger, in the title role in this witty, warm adaptation
of the post-feminist best-seller. But with a pitch-perfect British accent,
Zellweger is sensational! She's totally believable as the "verbally
incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney and drinks too much,"
which is how an eligible neighborhood bachelor, Colin Firth, bluntly
describes her. (In the book, Bridget goes daft for Colin Firth in "Pride
and Prejudice," and Mark Darcy is the name of his character.) Coping
with a massive lack of self-esteem, the well-rounded Bridget easily falls
for a cad, played by Hugh Grant, her sly, sexist boss at a London
publishing company. Renee Zellweger combines strength and vulnerability
with an irresistible smile. And if she hasn't won your heart already,
she nails it when she answers the phone, "Hello, Bridget Jones, wanton
sex goddess with a very bad man between my thighs" - only to discover
it's her mother (Gemma Jones) calling. But mum's not too shocked because
she's left dad (Jim Broadbent) to shack up with a sleazy TV shopping
network pitchman. And if you're wondering why author Salman Rushdie
("Satanic Verses") does a cameo, it's because, when Helen Fielding's
novel/diary was published in 1996, he called it "a brilliant comic
creation, adding "even men will laugh." No argument here. Not only is
the script by Fielding, Richard Curtis and Andrew Davies filled with
hilarious one-liners but it captures the angst of lonely thirtysomethings.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Bridget Jones's Diary" is a
fast-paced, funny 9. To paraphrase a key concept of Bridget's hard-won
self-worth, I love it just the way it is! And don't miss the amusing
childhood shots in the final credits.
Copyright © 2001 Susan Granger
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