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Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jone's Diary (Soundtrack)
Bridget Jone's - Original Novel
Bridget Jone's Diary - The Edge of Reason (Sequel Novel)
Bridget Jone's Guide To Life (Paperback)

Bridget Jones's Diary Review

Directed By: Sharon Maguire
Starring: Renee Zelwegger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent, James Callis and Embeth Davidtz.

Nominated for 1 Academy Award, Best Actress for Rene Zellweger who if she wins I will cheer myself hoarse for the sheer shock of it (A Comedy beating out drama?). Check out our Academy Award 2002 Nomination Page here!

Bridget Jones's Diary is a hard movie to review for a guy like me. I have this real glitch in my system about Romantic Comedies. They are rarely romantic, or rarely funny and truly, very rarely both.

My top exceptions to the rule: When Harry Met Sally, It Happened One Night, and a whole slew of John Cusack flicks...from Serendipity to the darker but still oddly romantic Gross Pointe Blank. Most films are one or the other but call themselves both because it opens the box-office potential right up.

Now, believe it or not, I had already read the book Bridget Jones's Diary, another rarity. Yes it was a bestseller ...for women. Men not so much. However my mom flipped it over to me and said I might get a kick out of it, she knows I have a 'thing' for English humour and she was right on the mark with this one. Loved the book.

And I fobbed it off on any female that came within a mile of me as a must read. Then came the inevitable news. It was being made as a movie by Miramax. Worse yet! Casting news stating that Rene Zelwegger is slated to play Bridget Jones?

Bloody hell!

Hugh Grant as a male bastard, yes, we can picture that. Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, well, wasn't the role already based on his role in Pride and Prejudice...but waif-like Texan Rene as the slightly overweight, inadvertently charming, quirky British Bridget?

And sparking off memories of the furor over casting Tom Cruise in Interview With The Vampire, the fans were, in Bridget-ese...'pissed'.

There was no need to be and anyone who saw the movie and read the book will agree, they are different but the differences are still negligible and this film was worth the so-called angst.

Rene is on the mark without once ever seeming mis-cast, false and she displays a talent for comedy we knew she had in Jerry Maguire, but unlike Maguire she also seems a lot more talented than perhaps we had first guessed.

As for Hugh playing the charming rogue Daniel Cleaver, he is better than he has been in a long time. In fact, I wish the script had taken him even further. Hugh's portrayal of a man who treats women like acquisitions and then discards them like a spent cigarette is stunning. When Daniel is at his worst, Hugh comes out shining as an actor and not someone who continually stumbles along with his nice guy persona.

As for Colin Firth. The man has something. Something undescribable. He says volumes with a look where other actors might have spieled lines of dialogue to get the same point across. Everything about him from his looks, his quiet manner and cold stand-offish ways screams out 'I Am An Englishman' but in that really cool subtle way they have.

Finally, after raving about this film, a moment to slam it. This film is directed by newcomer Sharon Maguire. She may be an acclaimed documentary film maker but what business does she have directing a multi-million dollar romantic comedy?

I'll tell you what. She knew the material, she shot it all in beautiful bright colours and she let the actors have their head for the most part and it all worked out beautifully. Bloody talented director!

The fact that the movie has been such a hit and has spawned a sequel book bodes well for spawning the sequel movie. Whether they will be able to coax Rene back into putting on the role and the weight again is another matter.

Copyright© Written By Staffwriter: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Audio Commentary by director Sharon Maguire
Making Of Featurette
Shelby Lynn "Killin' Kind" and Gabrielle "Out of Reach" Music Videos
Deleted Scenes
Selection of Bridget Jones's Diary columns by Helen Fielding
Theatrical trailers

Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo

The DVD Review:
The first thing you should ask yourself before buying a DVD is...will I ever watch this movie more than once? If the question is no, put it back up on the shelf and walk away.

I re-watched Bridget Jones's Diary this past weekend and found myself in a position that almost never happens. I rented the DVD and now wish I had spent the extra fifteen bucks and bought it.

This is an eminently re-watchable movie. A heavy factor in entering my collection. it is also an example of a formulaic film that never seems formulaic.

So, that could be the end of the DVD review right there, but the package of Bridget Jones's Diary is much more complete than just a nice wide screen version of the flick.

The Director's Commentary: This is Sharon Maguire's first commercial film and with that, her first audio commentary. It might have benefitted from having Rene there to talk along with her as there are gaps where Sharon really didn't have much to say. Aside from interesting anecdotes...mostly about Hugh Grant, there isn't much to enjoy in the commentary. A one-time listen only.

The Featurette: Actually a very entertaining 'making of' featurette with some behind the scenes footage and some great self-deprecating gags and only ever so self-promotional.

2 Music Videos. Probably the least well known songs on what turns out to be a really great soundtrack. The videos are dull but the songs are nice bonus tracks.

Finally two great extra's on this disk.

The first is a selection of Helen Fielding's original Bridget Jone's columns. Like the Almost Famous disk this is a bonus I can really get into. A look at older, hard-to-find pieces of writing that went on to inspire a bigger body of work.

The final perk on this disk are the deleted scenes. What makes these deleted scenes truly stand out is the fact that they are complete scenes, they are all funny and they could have been left in the movie and no one would mind. In fact, the American Version of Bridget ends with a credit sequence of Bridget at four jumping naked in Mark Darcy's pool. The English Version ended with mock-interviews of how Bridget's friends, Daniel and so on have reacted to the news of Mark and Bridget coupling up. This whole sequence has been put on the disk and there are some very funny moments here.

All in all, a good movie and a solid disk to back it up. About a 7.9 on the buying scale...out of ten that is.

Evil Ash

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