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107 of 118 found the following review helpful:
Loved This Movie But Now Have Insane Crush on Colin Firth! May 02, 2001
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually like the movie better than the book. My only disappointments were that the movie is way too short and that Colin Firth is not on-screen nearly enough.
The entire cast does a fantastic job of bringing Bridget Jones's quirky world to life. Renee Zellweger effectively portrays Bridget Jones as slightly ridiculous but lovable, and Hugh Grant and Colin Firth are perfect in their respective roles. It's certainly nice to see Hugh Grant finally take a break from the foppish, stuttering, self-deprecating persona he's been cultivating ever since Four Weddings & a Funeral---and his new buff look (as made evident in the lake/wet shirt scene) isn't bad either! I only wish the writers had come up with a reason to have Colin shirtless (or at least wet!)
As much as I enjoyed the movie, the reason I and my friends have already seen it several times and will buy the DVD the day it comes out is Colin Firth and his quietly (but devastatingly) mesmerizing performance. Several critics have commented that Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth have no chemistry, but I beg to differ. That very palpable chemistry (The way he looks at her when she's interviewing him? The incredibly charming cooking scene? The scene near the end where he leans down to kiss her on the cheek before she runs off to change into "genuinely tiny knickers"?) is what makes the ultimate resolution of the movie so satisfying.
Having long been a fan of British films, I've always been aware of Colin Firth as an accomplished actor (e.g., Another Country, A Month in the Country, Valmont), but it wasn't until Pride & Prejudice that it dawned on me that he was also incredibly attractive. He then went on to play rather unappealing characters in such films as Circle of Friends, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, and, me being the fickle fan that I am, forgot about my crush on him . . . until now. As a "serious actor," he seems to choose roles that will "challenge" him, and unfortunately for us besotted fans, they are often unattractive villains and cuckolds. But I've come to realize that the fact that he is so successful at masking his undeniable attractiveness is a testament to his extraordinary acting ability.
It was clear from Disney's marketing and PR campaign that they felt Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant would be the only draws here in the U.S., but I know a lot of people who went to see the movie because of Colin Firth. I can only hope this film will earn him the recognition of audiences (and studios) beyond the legions of women who fell in love with him in P&P. It'd certainly be wonderful to see him fulfill his promise as a leading man (a la Ralph Fiennes and Russell Crowe) and leave all those "character actor" roles behind him.
It looks like Working Title Films is already talking with Renee Zellweger about making the film version of "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason." Apparently, she's only interested if she doesn't have to gain weight again. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Colin Firth's desire to pursue more challenging roles doesn't keep him from signing on for the sequel. I can't imagine anyone else playing the role of Mark Darcy.
Finally, I'd just like to say that I wholeheartedly agree with other IMDB/Amazon users who've described Colin Firth as "sex on a stick," "dreamy," "swoonsome," "a revelation," "beautiful," "delicious," "riveting" and weak-knee inducing. I wonder how many of us will be trekking to London next year to see him on-stage in Hamlet? SIGH . . .
76 of 85 found the following review helpful:
Endearing Performance By Zellweger Apr 24, 2001
Dissatisfied at age 32 with the direction her life is taking, a young woman vows to make some changes, and to keep herself on track she decides to start a daily journal, hoping it will make her toe the line, in "Bridget Jones's Diary," directed by Sharon Maguire and starring Renee Zellweger. Bridget (Zellweger) begins with some New Year's resolutions that include no more drinking or smoking, not being paranoid about her weight, and developing poise. And-- last, but not least-- to avoid any romantic attachments to alcoholics, workaholics, peeping Toms or perverts. Of course she promptly falls for the one man she knows who embodies all of those characteristics: Her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). In the meantime, her mother, Pam (Gemma Jones), continues to play matchmaker for her daughter. At a holiday gathering of friends and family, Pam nudges her in the direction of an old childhood chum, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), now a respectable attorney, and recently divorced. Their initial meeting, however, proves to be a less than monumental event, further complicated by the fact that Cleaver was Darcy's Best Man at his wedding, and has some tales-out-of-school to tell about the subsequently ill fated marriage that puts Darcy in a rather bad light. But Bridget could care less; she thinks Darcy is rude and a bore, and anyway, Daniel is her guy. Work is good, her life is going well and-- as she is about to wake up and realize-- she hasn't kept a single one of her resolutions. And, oh! she should have.
First time director Maguire proves with this auspicious debut that she certainly knows her territory and how to negotiate it. She has the touch and the eye for detail of a seasoned professional, and her sense of timing is impeccable. She successfully avoids a major pitfall that do in many rookie directors right out of the chute, by never fishing for the cheap, forced, disdainfully pretentious or concocted laugh. Everything in this film, especially the humor, flows freely and naturally from the circumstances of the characters and the story, which makes it all real and believable and allows it to be readily embraced by the audience. This is a funny, often hilarious movie, but it's also very warm and at times poignant, and for handling it so sensibly, and with such sensitivity, Maguire deserves to be granted even more kudos. It's quite simply an exceptionally well made film, presented with a style and grace that reflects that of the director herself.
Of course, having a superlative leading lady was certainly not disadvantageous to Maguire's efforts, either, and Renee Zellweger has never been better than she is here as Bridget. With her quirky good looks, personality and charisma, she is endearing, and she invades Meryl Streep territory by affecting a perfect British accent. Whether she's lip-syncing to a Celine Dion song, doing karaoke at an office party after having a bit too much to drink, or battling with a blender, it's easy to believe that someone would like her just the way she is. Even with her hair mussed, or in a somewhat disheveled state, she's alluring, and it all has to do with who she is deep down inside; Zellweger makes it clear that this is a woman of substance, and it's easy to like her. There's a down-to-earth honesty and accessibility about her that makes her appealing, and she's someone to whom many in the audience are easily going to be able to relate. For her portrayal of Betty in "Nurse Betty," Zellweger received a Golden Globe; "Bridget" should land her smack in the middle of Oscar territory.
As Bridget's smarmy boss, Daniel, Hugh Grant turns in a noteworthy performance, putting a rather tarnished sheen on his natural charm that works so well for this character. It's a nice departure from his usual bumbling, reserved Mr. Nice Guy routine he perfected in such films as "Notting Hill," and "Four Weddings and A Funeral." With this role he challenges Greg Kinnear's part in "Someone Like You" for the top spot in the Boss-You-Should-Never-Date category. And Firth does a memorable turn as Darcy, fairly reprising his role of the same name in the PBS miniseries, "Pride and Prejudice," from which this story is loosely derived. Initially appearing a bit sullen, he gets the chance to develop his character as the story unfolds, and he does it quite nicely, ultimately revealing Darcy's true nature.
In a supporting role, Gemma Jones gives a performance that deserves mention, doing a good job of fleshing out Bridget's mother in the brief time she is allotted. Rounding out the supporting cast are Crispin Bonham-Carter (Greg), Jim Broadbent (Colin Jones), James Callis (Tom), Sally Phillips (Shazzer), Honor Blackman (Penny), Embeth Davidtz (Natasha), Shirley Henderson (Jude) and Celia Imrie (Una). A warmly humorous, uplifting film, "Bridget Jones's Diary" is a delightful and satisfying experience with more than a touch of magic in it. Not only is it an entertaining showcase for Zellweger's many talents, but heralds the arrival of a director from whom we can expect great things in the future, Sharon Maguire. A well crafted, reality based comedy/drama that is enjoyable and refreshingly devoid of inane nonsense or gross jokes is a rare find these days, and this is one of the best to hit the screen in a long, long time. It's a film to be heartily embraced, and one I guarantee you'll want to see more than once.
24 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Bridget Jones's Diary Apr 05, 2008
"Reviewer for The Sinfully Sensuous"
Renee Zellweger does a fabulous job of portraying Bridget Jones. You would never guess that this great accent came from a Texan. At the age of 32, she is unhappy with her unmarried status, and everyone constantly throws it in her face. She is interested in her boss Daniel Cleaver, but knows he is not the type of man that she should see. When she meets Mark Darcy (a set up by her mother), they dislike each other immediately, and the fact he hates Daniel is just a bonus. The comedy that follows is just hilarious.
This is a very entertaining movie. Hugh Grant sheds his normal good guy persona to be the guy you love to hate. He is very effective in the role switch. Colin Firth is just plain loveable. This is a movie to pull out and watch again and again.
32 of 34 found the following review helpful:
SUBLIME ROMANTIC COMEDY... Aug 31, 2004
I saw this movie, kicking and screaming, when my younger sister foisted it upon me. Thinking that it was going to be another Gen X piece of claptrap, I gritted my teeth and prepared myself for what I erroneously thought would be a waste of time. Was I ever wrong! It turned out to be a sublime cinematic experience.
Renee Zellweger is definitely the star of this film. She positively twinkles! She is absolutely marvelous in the role of Bridget Jones, our single, thirty something, English Holly-Go-Lightly. Employed as a somewhat graceless publicist, the plump and perky Bridget enters into an affair with her caddish, handsome, sexy boss, winningly played by the ever charming and debonair Hugh Grant.
Meanwhile, her mother has introduced her to an attorney, the stiff-necked Mr. Darcy, played to taciturn perfection by Colin Firth. Even though they were once childhood playmates, he and Bridget do not initially click, and it is not love at first sight, as Bridget's mother had so hoped. Bridget goes on her merry way with her boss, unaware that he is two-timing her. When she discovers his perfidy, it is too late, as she already fancies herself in love with him.
Mr. Darcy, however, re-enters the picture, and what happens is a thing of beauty to watch. The film is very funny. Rene Zellweger as a Brit is totally believable. She is so good that she would even fool the Queen into believing her to be one of the Queen's own subjects. Without a doubt, this is one of Ms. Zellweger's best roles to date, and she is positively delightful. Moreover, Sharon Maguire's directorial debut is certainly noteworthy, as she shows signs of a deft comedic touch in her direction. This is simply a terrific film. Bravo!
25 of 28 found the following review helpful:
Finally a Real Role Model That Connects Across the World! Apr 21, 2001
I cannot rave enough about 'Bridget Jones' Diary'! It is so marvelous that finally there is a woman conveyed on film who's got a real body and has problems she's trying to control, and she can still get the man of her dreams.
Renee Zellweger does excellent as a thirty-two year old singleton who is having problems with cigarettes, alcohol, and men. Her mother is constantly trying to set her up and the latest is Mark Darcy, who has recently gotten a divorce. But Bridget has other ideas and is soon flirting with her boss (not to mention making a total fool of herself, but that's why we love Bridget!)
Nonetheless, the story is very sweet and enduring. And it is HILARIOUS! I haven't laughed this much at a movie since 'Meet the Parents'. I just loved the fact that this movie had a smart heroine who wasn't afraid to mess up and to just be herself. And it's nice to finally see Hugh Grant as a real bad guy instead of his usual roles. And I loved Colin Firth. This movie is definately a must-see! Bridget rocks!
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