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Bridget Jones's Diary

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Diary

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant
Director: Sharon Maguire
Rated: R
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: April 2001
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Jim Broadbent, Embeth Davidtz, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Shirley Henderson, Gemma Jones, Colin Firth, Honor Blackman

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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