Bridget Jones's Diary
Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin
Firth in the film based on the novel by Helen Fielding
and directed by Sharon Maguire. Get the film on DVD from Amazon.com,
Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant. Photo Copyright: UIP.
Renée Zellweger. Photo Copyright: UIP.
Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth. Photo Copyright: UIP.
Article added on
August 31, 2001
The journalist Helen Fielding began her
weekly column "Bridget Jones's Diary" in the British daily
newspaper The Independent
in 1995. The following year, she turned her column into a book and Bridget
Jones became an international success with over 4 million copies sold
worldwide. The character she had invented seems to be one with which a lot of
women can (partly) identify - the single female in her 30s.
It was only logical that one day Helen
Fielding's writing would be transformed into a film. In fact, the author
wrote the screenplay herself, together with Andrew Davies and Richard
Curtis. She also signed as executive producer of Bridget Jones's Diary.
The film with Renée Zellweger in the
role, Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy as Colin Firth is fun
to watch. People who are
looking for a profound psychological analysis should be reminded that it is a
comedy. This does not mean that there is not
truth in it - I know several women who are or were quite like
For this film, Renée Zellweger is said to
have put on some 10 kg. But even so, she still looks cuter than most woman.
Helen Fielding and her team did not dare to chose an ugly single female -
it is still a fairy tale. The Texan Renée Zellweger also learned to speak
with an English accent working incognito in Helen Fielding's publishing
house and - as far as a Swiss like me can judge - she succeeded.
Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is 32 and a London-based publicist. She
has a slight eating, alcohol and nicotine disorder which comes to light
when she is alone in front of her TV, with her friends and, more
embarrassingly, at social events. Her battle against cellulite is as
unsuccessful as her search for a man. Her best friends Jude (Shirley
Henderson), Sharon (Sally Philipps) and Tom (James Callis), who is of
course gay, give her (less than useful) advice.
At Christmas, as usual, her mother (Gemma
Jones) tries to set her up with a man.
This time, it is the environmental lawyer Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). The
encounter, as usual, turns into a series of minor disasters. Instead,
Bridget later begins an affair with her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).
Grant, not in his usual role as the romantic hero, gives an admirable
performance. The short romance between the two ends as Bridget finds out
that Cleaver is having an affair with an American colleague from the New York
office. As it turns out, they are even engaged. Bridget is alone again and
in search of a man. She gets a new job and fights on. Soon, it is
Christmas again and, of course, she will find her prince.
Fielding's novel is inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. As
an ironic tip-off, Colin Firth got the role of Mark Darcy. He had played
the part of Darcy in the acclaimed BBC adaptation of
Jane Austen's novel and had impressed Fielding. In her movie, he changes
from a cold intellectual to a sensitive man.
Bridget Jones's Diary is a Working
Title Films production - the company responsible for Notting Hill
and Four Weddings And A Funeral. The screenwriter of the two movies
was Richard Curtis. In Bridget Jones's Diary, he worked as a
co-screenwriter aside Helen Fielding and Andrew Davies. The film is
directed by Sharon Maguire in her big screen debut.
The Texan actress Renée Zellweger, born in
1969 as the daughter of a Swiss father and a Norwegian mother (with a Swiss and an American
passport), is a single herself. She lives in Los Angeles. Her credits include
Reality Bites, Love & A 45, Jerry Maguire,
Nurse Betty and Me, Myself & Irene. In Bridget
Jones's Diary, she proves to be one of those rare actresses who can shine in
situation comedy. She is no Goldie Hawn yet,
but as in Nurse Betty, her performance is remarkable. Only Hugh
Grant acts on her level.
Clever men like Daniel Cleaver will of course
invite women like Bridget to watch Bridget Jones's Diary in order
to seduce them...
Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones's Diary: A Novel. Reprint edition
1999. Get the book from Amazon.com,
Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge of Reason. 2000,
432 p. Get it from Amazon.com,
Bridget Jones's Diary. Get the film on DVD from Amazon.com.
Get it on VHS from Amazon.co.uk.
Bridget Jones's Diary. Soundtrack. Get the CD from: Amazon.com,
Schweiz. As one expects for a romantic comedy, it is largely a
ballad album, with Shelby Lynne's Dreamsome as one of the
highlights. Aretha Franklin's Respect, Dina Carroll's Someone
Like You and Diana Ross' & Marvin Gaye's sugar sweet ballad Stop,
Look, Listen (To Your Heart) add some soul flavor. The only song which
doesn't fit into the album is Aaron Soul's Ring Ring Ring - by the way:
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