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Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

Le Journal de Bridget Jones

Its Monday morning, Bridget has woken up with a headache, a hangover and her boss. Uninhibited. Uncensored. Unmarried.

Directed by:

Sharon Maguire

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 97 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: France, United Kingdom

‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ is set in London, but not as we know it. It’s Sanitized London. A London where people can somehow get away with having names like “Cosmo” and “Darcy”. A London where a woman, in her 30s, with no discernible qualifications or experience, can quit her receptionist’s job and walk straight into a gig as a roving TV reporter. A London where stately homes, village pubs and unblemished snow stretch for as far as the eye can see. A London with no traffic congestion – in fact, come to think of it, no traffic AT ALL! Come on people, it’s London for God’s sake! Seriously, they could at least have thrown in ONE drunken tramp with a Scottish accent. Would it have killed them?

But it doesn’t take long to realise that this unfeasibly popular movie, based on the runaway best-selling novel by Helen Fielding, is no more grounded in reality than the ‘Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Star Trek’ movies. I’m sure of that predominantly because, if life was really like it is in such self-consciously-middle-class pseudo-Richard Curtis fare, I’d have killed myself by now.

Having said all of that, there’s no denying that Bridget is an endearing character – even if she is played by Renee Zellweger and thereby cursed with a permanently-closed pair of eyes. The film charts her life as a lousy-with-love singleton, and her quandary over which of her suitors to pick: posh, charming, floppy-haired white-collared high-flier Hugh Grant, or – erm – posh, charming, floppy-haired white-collared high-flier Colin Firth. Of course, anyone with a bit of sense would tell them both to “Firth off”, but this is the movies, and anything can happen – just as long as it doesn’t involve a speck of dirt being spotted on one of London’s streets.

Anyway, getting back to the point, that’s about it as far as the plot goes. The performances are exactly what you’d expect from the cast on display. There’s also passable direction from the completely unknown helmswoman Sharon Maguire, and a made-for-bathtime soundtrack that could just as easily be titled ‘Now That’s What I Call Female Empowerment’. But it’s main saving grace is that it only lasts for just over an hour-and-a-half – which means swift enough respite for the blokes, daily recommended allowance of overly-fluffy flim-flam for the ladies, and everyone’s happy! Well, sort of.

It's Got: A gentleman’s punch-up.

It Needs: Some gentleman’s relish (goes great on a gentleman’s hamburger, arf!).

DVD Extras Full length commentary from Ms Maguire, two decent featurettes, some deleted scenes, and a couple of music videos. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Summary

You won’t have too much trouble keeping up with this particular Jones – but you might enjoy it. If you like that sort of thing.

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