Bridget Jones’s Diary is certainly what one could call a successful romantic comedy. It grossed over $280 million when released theatrically in 2001, earned Renee Zellweger an Oscar nomination and was followed by a sequel that did almost as well in 2004.
In case you’ve been living under a rock or are repulsed by romantic comedies for some reason, Jones is the story of Bridget Jones, a frustrated, single, early thirties British woman and the ping pong relationship game she plays with Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). She deals with trying to lose weight, trying to cut down on her drinking and a bunch of other stuff that most people (British or otherwise) deal with in their lives.
If you’re aware of the works of Jane Austin, then you’ll also notice a few similarities to a well known piece of hers, Pride and Prejudice, including, but not limited to, Firth again playing a character named Darcy (as he did in the BBC adaptation). Jones does a good job of being inspired by Pride without just being a modern day remake.
While the story and characters are fun, what really makes this film work are the performances. Zellweger is fantastic as Jones and really sells her British accent. Grant breaks away from his nice guy persona that he usually plays in rom-com’s and plays the “bad guy” very convincingly. And Firth is as charming as ever as Darcy. And all the supporting roles are great as well.
Bridget Jones’ Diary is a fun romantic comedy that really is a step above most films in the genre. With solid performances, witty dialogue and a fun story, and is enjoyable for guys as well as the ladies, which is always a big challenge for the genre. If nothing else, you get to see Firth and Grant beat the crap out of one-another, which is the funniest scene in the film. Sure it hits many of the cliche moments of the rom-com, but it plays them all off rather well due to all things listed above.
This film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio with English and Spanish subtitles. The film looks darn good here, but then, I’ve never felt comedies really require the Blu-ray look the way some other genre’s do.
Director’s Commentary:A little slow at times, but an all around fun commentary. The Young and the Mateless (an expert’s guide to being single) (8 min.) A featurette meant to empower the single woman. However, saying that Superman is single (um, hi, Lois Lane?!) kind of ruins their whole argument. The Bridget Phenomenon (6 min.) is about the creation of the character and how it turned from a newspaper columnist to a film character. And some recycles from previous releases including: Behind-The-Scenes (10 min.), Portrait of the Make-Up Artist (5 min.), Deleted Scenes (12 min.), A guide to Bridget Britishisms (2 min.) and TV Spots
Bridget Jones’s Diary is a fun romantic comedy that women everywhere love, and there are even some aspects of the film guys will enjoy as well. It’s really a great example of its genre. I’m not sure it’s totally worth the blu-ray upgrade, but if you’re a huge fan, why not?
Miramax and Lionsgate present Bridget Jones’s Diary. Directed by: Sharon Maquire. Starring: Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones. Written by Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies and Richard Curtis. Based on the novel by Helen Fielding. Running time: 97 min. Rating: R for language and some strong sexuality. Released on DVD: July 19, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent