Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bridget Jones's Dairy (2001)

I know, this movie is pure fluff culled from the Barnes and Noble shelf called chick lit that no one wants to admit to reading and certainly, no movie buff would ever admit to liking a movie made from … chick lit. Well, I can’t claim to be a major movie buff, though I try, but I can claim to love this movie. It is my movie version of flannel PJs and hot chocolate. It makes me feel warm inside and always – ALWAYS - makes me feel better, mood-wise, for having watched it. I don’t care that it is fluff. Sometimes, fluff is comfort and therefore … good.


Movie Poster for "Bridget Jones's Dairy"

One of the most amazing things about this being total fluff is that, at its core, it really isn’t total fluff at all. The whole framework of the plot is based up Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” which happens to be one of my all-time favorite books. So you take a classic novel adored by women all over and add the fun fluff on top and … in my mind, that is pretty brilliant.

So what is all this fluff about? Well, this movie spans a year in the life of Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) as she decides to keep a diary in the hopes of getting it all together. She wants to do all the things that single women want – lose weight, develop a great career, find a man and live happily ever after. Of course, since this is a light romantic comedy, things don’t go nearly so easy. There are two men in her life, over the course of the year. One is Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) – not hard for any Jane Austen fan to decipher who he is. The second is Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) who also happens to be Bridget’s boss. Over the course of the year, not only does she contend with those men, but she has her crazy friends, her parents splitting up and her mom’s new boyfriend and other zany antics to keep anyone like me in complete delight for the length of the movie.

One of the things that I love about this film is that the heroine is so likable, but yet, a complete wreck. At every turn she says the wrong thing and does the wrong thing. She gets herself into the most embarrassing situations and always manages to grin and bear her way through it all. Renee Zellweger is not a favorite actress of mine, but she so totally embodies Bridget Jones that I am not sure anyone else could have done the part justice.

The other thing that makes this one so much fun is taking Hugh Grant, an icon of the female ideal for a romantic comedy and actually turning him into the totally charming and totally adorable … cad. It works so well because I swear Hugh’s eyes sparkle in delight just from his relief of getting to be a bad boy for once in his life. He seems to relish the role of cad and we relish his enjoyment.

Lastly, dear Colin Firth. Who doesn’t love this man? He is so adorable just standing there looking all stuffy. Any woman who has seen the BBC mini-series version of “Pride and Prejudice” completely lost their mind when he came striding out of the lake after his swim as Mark Darcy. Now here he is as Mark Darcy, again, a couple centuries or so later, being the reserved but strong and wonderful man we all love.

I have seriously seen this movie probably more than 15 times (yes, I know how pathetic that makes me and no, I don’t care) and I still adore it as much as I did the first time. I still laugh at how silly and poignant Bridget is to me and my own experiences and I think she always will be. It is a great movie around the holidays as it is about New Year’s resolutions and holiday gatherings. I highly recommend this movie for anyone who can stomach a total chick flick as it is by far, my recent (say, the last 30 years or so) favorite of the entire genre. Oh, and one word of warning for you, my dear readers, all two of you. Skip the sequel "The Edge of Reason" - just, oof, trust me on this one.

6 comments:

Nancy "Beaky" Bruce said...

Can't believe I've not followed your blog before.

After reading this one and thinking... oh, how I wish the sequel had measured up to it, then reading the last sentence.... well. You had me at "oof." ;)

Anonymous said...

Call me silly, i don't care but I loved Bridget Jones 1 and 2. when it was said that there was going to be third part at first I applauded the idea but now I think it should stay as is. I mean what else could they elaborate on? Everything had already been done. Could they have the cad chase Bridget all the time to still finish up with Mark darcy at the end. I remember that at the end of both films Bridget ended up with Mark Darcy. We know how it will end again so bury it and don't resurect it. I liked it just the way it was.

Jennythenipper said...

Great post April. I think we both have this movie on emotional speed dial when we are feeling a little blue. You know feeling like Bridget eating Branston pickle straight of the jar, wearing our duvet as a sort of dressing gown. Yes, I love it too. It always kills me watching it now, that her gay friend is played by James Callas who played the very, very straight, but also over-sexed Dr. Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica.

AbbyNormal said...

Beaky - glad to see you commenting - thank you, er, oof!

Anonymous - I won't call you silly. Everyone has very different and personal reasons that make them respond to a movie or not. I felt like the first was so perfect that perhaps nothing after that could have measured up. I definitely agree with you on the point about number 3 - what on earth is there to be said next? Thanks for commenting and providing a counter-point to the discussion. All comments are welcome here even if you don't agree with me. :-)

Jenny - I don't know why it is THIS movie that is my emotional speed dial, but I aprpeciate that I have one at the ready, always. As for James Callas, I pointed him out in BG and tried to use that as a way of getting my BF to watch Bridget Jones with me. LOL - it didn't work. Thanks for the support in getting me to finally post this review :-)

Alexandra said...

I love Bridget Jones too and I'm not at all ashamed to say it. I love that it is so easy to relate to the central character -- starting and quitting diets, making a fool out of one's self, etc. And sometimes, fluff is just what you need. Great post! If you have time, I have a blog that also largely honors fluff...
http://nickandnora34.blogspot.com/

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