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Movie Reviews

Bridget Jones's Diary  

I haven't had much luck with the romantic comedy genre lately. For the most part they are pretty redundant and the jokes are more miss rather than hit. I am proud to announce this film is the exception rather than the rule. Bridget Jones's Diary is fantastically funny and charming film.

I was afraid that I was in store for a formula movie when the film opened. When we are introduced to Bridget, she is a young thirties single woman who is dreading an annual Christmas party where her Mother is always trying to set her up with an equally single man. This time out it's a lawyer named Mark Darcy. After a disastrous first encounter she overhears him say some nasty things about her and decides that she is going to put every foot forward to not end up "a spinster who will be found dead and half eaten by dogs one day". She also decides to start a diary to track her progress at losing weight, quitting smoking and drinking and to find her inner poise. After a few flirtatious e-mails, she begins a relationship with her boss Daniel Cleaver. During the course of the relationship she keeps running into Darcy. The two men have a past history and don't like each other very much. When the relationship with Cleaver gets rocky, Bridget begins to see Darcy in a new light.
Bridget Jones's Diary
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When Renee Zellweger was cast as Bridget, it caused an uproar because the book is very British and her character is a drinking, smoking party girl who has to battle her weight. Another thing, as Kevin Costner can tell you, there is the whole British accent thing to pull off. Well I can say that not only is it credible after the few first minutes, you forget that she is not a Brit. She also gained 30 pounds for the role (and never looked better) and she is absolutely charming. Bridget is the average single woman and she is charmingly ditsy. When Bridget is at her worst, be it in her super large underwear or sliding down a firepole (hilarious trust me), Zellweger is at her best. Hugh Grant plays the boss Cleaver. It is the best role I have seen him in a while. He is perfect as the charming yet sleazy bad boy that Bridget swears she will resist but ultimately can't. Equally as good is Colin Firth who plays the straight laced Mark Darcy. His cold straight lace manner is the perfect backdrop for Bridget charming clumsiness.

While Renee Zellweger deserves a lot of the credit for the films' success the script deserves an equal amount. It is a fresh take on an old topic and the jokes are hilarious. I laughed the whole way through out. There is a definite bond made between Bridget Jones and the audience. When she laughs you laugh. When she gets crushed you get crushed a bit too. First time director Sharon Maguire gets top-level performances out of her cast and her sense of comic timing works tremendously well.

Bridget Jones's Diary works on all levels. It's funny it has a great cast with great performances and a story that while isn't the most original, is funny and not entirely predictable. It is definitely worth the bucks to see this in the theaters. On a one to ten it gets an 8.5.

Paul Ferris

Wheel Deal Review

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