Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Embeth Davidtz
Directed By: Sharon Maguire
Look, here's the thing: the wife and I sometimes do this alternating pick a DVD thing where one of us picks the movie we'll watch and the other can't object (okay, we have a one veto rule). When we can't mutually agree on a movie, we bust out the alternating rule. Last week, I chose Schindler's List. So last night, I was forced to watch Bridget Jones's Diary. It was either that or Sense and Sensibility, so I got off easy (although, that just means Sense and Sensibility is looming on the horizon, hanging over me like the sword of Damocles).
That explains why I'm reviewing this movie. Now to explain what I thought of it. I always thought I'd end up seeing this flick sometime, and figured it wouldn't be too bad. Hugh Grant has developed a nice smarmy charm in his more recent films that I find entertaining, Colin Firth is always pretty good, and I've enjoyed previous Renée Zellweger roles. If forced, I figured I could get through a Zellweger-lead romantic comedy. She is pretty good at Bridget Jones, willing to embarrass herself with physical comedy while still projecting a pained awkwardness that instantly causes the audience to sympathise for her. Beneath her smoking, boozing, thirtyish confidence lies a heart-breaking vulnerability that is a different kind than that which Zellweger portrayed as Dorothy Boyd in Jerry Maguire. With Jones, Zellweger has portrayed a memorable female lead, earning herself her first Academy Award nomination.
Grant is winning as the roguish cad Daniel Cleaver, making me wish I was a little bit more charming, a little better looking, and had a British accent so I could get away with saying some of the nasty things he says to Bridget and have it come off as sexy and flirtatious, instead of creepy and oafish. Firth is his usual stoic self as Mark Darcy, offering the perfect foil to Grant's Cleaver. The movie even has a pretty fun fist fight sequence. But for me, there was something missing, preventing me from really getting into the movie.
I don't even think that it was necessarily the movie that was missing something. I think I was missing something, like, I don't know... ovaries, maybe? This is such a chick flick that I was wondering whether or not I should even be watching it, for fear that I shouldn't be privy to some of the information it may be trying impart to the girl nation that men have been kept from for centuries. It's like I could tell that it was a funny movie in my head, but I just didn't get the jokes, like trying to explain sarcasm to an alien or something. So, while it seemed like a fine movie, I really had a hard time getting past my own disinterest and detachment. I guess the best I can say to the guys is that the movie isn't sufferable, so if you have to, suck it up and you'll find a few moments of enjoyment.