Friday, 13 March 2009

Movie Review - Bridget Jones' Diary

Based on the best-selling book, Bridget Jones’ Diary is the story of a 30-something woman’s mid-life crisis, attempts at a loved life revived, failed, attempts at reviving career attempted, failed, but of course everything goes right for her in the end. It just takes a hell of a long time and a lot of emotional turmoil to get there.

Renee Zellweger is perfectly cast in the role of the eponymous 30-something female disaster in this hilarious film. I'd never heard of her before seeing this film but I’m now one of her biggest fans – she’s just wonderful! (Still waiting in the UK for “Down With Love” to hit the big screen… grr…)

Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy (AGAIN!!… he also played Mr Darcy in the wonderful BBC dramatisation of Pride & Prejudice) – his character is very much the same as in Pride & Prejudice, ie the brooding stranger who appears to be the baddie but turns out to be the goodie. He's so good at it that he runs the danger of being typecast forever!

Speaking of typecasting, Hugh Grant plays a roguish, yet lovable scoundrel, who seems to be all nice but turns out to be rotten (well okay its normally the other way round…). His name is Daniel Cleaver, which describes his personality rather well. He happens to be Bridget’s boss and rather likes it when she starts turning up to work in almost non-existent skirts. (He sends an email message to her – “is skirt off sick?”) – this leads to an somewhat short-lived affair and sparks off many of the film’s further events… The other characters in the film include Bridget's friends: hard-drinking foul-mouthed journalist Shazza, whose advice is almost always the same mono-syallabic expletive; sympathetic city-worker Jude; and one-hit wonder former popstar Tom. Her family: scatty mother Pam and emotionally repressed father Colin (played by the ever dependable Jim Broadbent, who really is far too good to be a bit-part actor). They all play their parts pretty well, and the rest of the supporting cast are pretty good.

The plot is fast-paced and witty, and though fairly predictable this does not in the least detract from the film. The musical score is also good and generally everything about the film works exactly as it should. I can't really find anything bad to say about it other than there is a lot of bad language, which will offend some people. It was really unnecessary and grated quite a lot. (Of course, if bad language doesn’t bother you, then it won’t in this film either).

The characters are well-drawn and easily engage our sympathies or disgust, and some of the comic moments in this film are absolute gems. (If you have only seen the trailers and thought the “enormous pants” moment is funny wait till you see the scene were Bridget Jones turns News Reporter and comes down a fireman's pole (or should that be fireperson's?). Though that scene, and one or two others, worked extremely well in the cinema and fail to have the same kind of impact on the small screen. After having enjoyed the film so much at the cinema (once in London, once in Paris – with French subtitles! – the week after I saw Amilee in London in French with English subtitles!!), seeing the DVD seemed a bit of a let-down. It was still funny, just less so than on the big screen. The amount of swearing also grated more on the small screen for some reason.

Humour is obviously the byword for this film and there's plenty of it. It's not sweet, it's not subtle, but its extremely funny and highly recommended. (Though not to the overly sensitive or easily offended.) If you saw it at the Flicks don’t expect it to be quite as good on the small screen, though.

Other romantic comedies:

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