Bridget sitting around in pajamas. image credit: Miramax Films

Movie Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) *****

My original Letterboxd review for this is pretty thorough and I stand beside it.

IN A WORLD where we are supposed to believe a size 8 needs to lose 20 lbs

An overgrown ADHD kid overthinks everything, from her underwear to some guy’s Christmas sweater, and fights intrusive thoughts to resist saying TITS PERVERT on stage at work~

Bridget Jones thinks men will not be attracted to her if they’ve seen her sing badly!

But thanks to two smoldering lipless Englishmen, she is about to realize–well, probably exactly nothing. There are two sequels after this one.

A relatable classic for dumpster human beings like me.

“Bridget Jones’s Diary” is about a single woman who feels insufficient. Most everyone she knows has gotten married. She weighs “too much.” (To the tune of 136 lbs.) She smokes too much. She drinks too many units of alcohol. She’s not smart enough. She’s not clever enough. Bridget wants to improve herself on every metric so that she can get married and her mother will get off her back.

I wouldn’t call this an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but rather a smart homage. Like the Bennett family, Bridget is always inappropriate. Hugh Grant plays a character like Mr. Wickham, who has a history with Mr. Darcy–uh, Mark Darcy–and he’s a saucy little liar manipulating the women around him. And of course there is Mark Darcy, played by notorious Mr Darcy actor Colin Firth. Even though there are more suitable matches for him, socially speaking, he loves Bridget for exactly who she is. Mess and all.

Hugh Grant is an extremely charming Wickham-alike, and his floppy hair is the fourth star of the movie. He really stands as a dirtbaggy second option for Bridge in this love triangle, and as a love triangle connoisseur, I can tell you that the alternative option isn’t always so appealing. It all hinges on Hugh Grant’s charm. I mean, if Bridget chose him, you’d kinda get it.

Personally, I am always cheap for Colin Firth. I truly believe he took this job because he knew it would be hilarious to be Mark Darcy after being Mr Darcy. If you like his pining faces in BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, I promise, you’ll love his pining faces here too. He’s extremely endearing. The truth is that he’s actually really awkward and nerdy (in a way that is complementary to Bridget!) and he’s absolutely *smitten* with her, but you mostly see it in the slightest twitches of his face. I swoon at the fifty shades of wordlessly staring this man can do.

My lovely English friend tells me that Renee Zellweger has a flawless English accent, which is worthy of note when she’s opposite actual Brits. But my main interest has always been in how well she sells Bridge’s completely-normal-woman personality. No. I’m lying. My main interest has always been in how extremely hot she looks in the bunny costume and also in her knickers at the end. This actress should have absolutely considered keeping the weight on after the movie! She’s so hot! Do either of the men deserve her? Was ending up with me an option?

It’s actually a really sweet movie, cloaked in a lot of garbage that originates mostly from Bridget’s nonexistent self-esteem. The point is that she’s perfectly fine. She really doesn’t need to lose weight or quit her bad habits to be worthy of love. She just needs to be with the guy who treats her well, not the one who keeps swanning off with an American babe.

We all deserve a Mark Darcy, really. Someone who will eat the blue soup, twin with our bad Christmas sweaters, and buy us a new journal when we filled the last one up talking crap about him. This is one of my quintessential romcoms.

(image credit: Miramax Films)

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