Bridget Jones’s Diary – Collector’s Series


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Rating: R

Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Gemma Jones as Bridget’s Mum
Celia Imrie as Una Alconbury
James Faulkner as Uncle Geoffrey
Jim Broadbent as Bridget’s Dad
Colin Firth as Mark Darcy
Charmian May as Mrs. Darcy
Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver
Paul Brooke as Mr. Fitzherbert
Felicity Montagu as Perpetua
Shirley Henderson as Jude
Sally Phillips as Shazzer
James Callis as Tom

Special Features:
• The Bridget Phenomenon

• The Young And The Mateless

• Portrait Of The Makeup Artist

• Domestic And International TV Spots

• Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Theatrical Trailer

• Bridget Jones’s Diary Reviews

• A Guide To Bridget Britishisms

• Feature Commentary With Director Sharon Maguire

• Behind-The-Scenes Featurette

• Deleted Scenes

• Over 100 Original Bridget Jones’s Diary Columns

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 98 Minutes

This film was originally released in 2001. The following is the text from the DVD cover:

“Academy Award® winner Renée Zellweger (Best Supporting Actress,Cold Mountain, 2003; Chicago) and Hugh Grant (Love Actually, Two Weeks Notice) star in a delightful comedy about the ups and downs of modern romance. Bridget (Zellweger), a busy career woman, decides to turn over a new page in her life by channeling her thoughts, opinions and insecurities into a journal that becomes a hilarious chronicle of her adventures. Soon she becomes the center of attention between a guy who’s too good to be true (Grant) and another who’s so wrong for her, he could be just right (Colin Firth — Love Actually)! Based on the best-selling book, BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY is another acclaimed crowd-pleaser from the hit makers of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill.”

Bridget Jones’s Diary is rated R for language and some strong sexuality.

The Movie:
I missed Bridget Jones’s Diary when it first came out in theaters, so this was my first viewing of the film. I kind of avoided it because I was never in the mood for a “chick flick”, but I was glad to discover that it had more to offer. While still definitely being a “chick flick”, it is funny, well written, and entertaining for both men and women.

It’s easy to see why this film appealed to thirtysomething single women. They identify with many of Bridget Jones’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. She is pressured by her family to get married, quizzed by acquaintances about her love life, and embarrassed by her mother. She flirts with a co-worker, fails miserably at cooking, and laughs with her friends. She’s also imperfect as she repeatedly embarrasses herself in very public ways. All these things make her a character that is likable and identifiable to the film’s target audience.

Renée Zellweger is excellent as Bridget Jones. While I wasn’t too sure about her British accent at first, it eventually grew on me. There was a lot of press surrounding her weight gain for the role, but to be honest I never really thought she looked fat. I guess I haven’t seen her in enough roles to make a comparison. She proves in this film that she can be a good comedic actress. She is not only thrown into embarrassing situations but she manages to do physical comedy, too. My favorite moments with her include Bridget showing up at a party dressed in a bunny costume while almost nobody else is dressed up. Another fun part is when she attempts to cook and her soup turns out blue. In the end it’s quite an amazing accomplishment that she can carry this film on her own.

She does, of course, have some help from her co-stars. Colin Firth makes a good love interest as Mark Darcy. He transitions from nemesis to romantic lead through the course of the movie and he manages to make it entirely believable. It’s essentially a return of his performance in Pride and Prejudice. Hugh Grant makes an equally believable transition as Daniel Cleaver. He goes from boyfriend to bad guy in a natural way. The rest of the supporting cast is also good. It includes Celia Imrie, Jim Broadbent , and a number of others. They even manage to get Salman Rushdie in a cameo role.

I liked the music in the film. It’s a fun mix of 50’s music, pop music, and more. The soundtrack features Sheryl Crow, Robbie Williams, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Geri Halliwell, and other favorites.

If you’ve already seen Bridget Jones’s Diary then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it, I think you’ll find it’s worth checking out. Women will enjoy it and I think men will find it accessible as well.

The Extras:
This edition of the DVD contains a number of new bonus features. If you already have the DVD I’m not sure if I’d recommend picking this version up unless you’re a big Bridget Jones fan. If you haven’t bought it yet, this is the definitive edition to pick up. Here are the features you’ll find:

The Bridget Phenomenon – This short video discusses the origin of Bridget Jones and why the character is popular with fans.

The Young And The Mateless – This short video is a quick look at modern dating for women. Writers for Allure and other experts talk about internet dating, writing personal ads, and more. They also discuss why Bridget Jones appeals to single women.

Portrait Of The Makeup Artist – This 5 minute video celebrates makeup designer Graham Johnston. He talks about the looks of the characters and his makeup techniques. I can’t say I had a lot of interest in this, but here it is.

Bridget Jones’s Diary Reviews – This is a text collection of some of the glowing reviews for the film.

A Guide To Bridget Britishisms – This is a video explaining some of the British sayings heard in the film. It may be of use to American audiences.

Feature Commentary With Director Sharon Maguire – Even though none of the cast takes part in the commentary, Maguire keeps the discussion rolling. You get a real sense of just how intimately involved she was in the making of the movie. She discusses the development of the script, shooting the film, ad-libbed lines, and more.

Behind-The-Scenes Featurette – This is your standard behind the scenes featurette, but with the Bridget Jones tongue in cheek humor. There are interviews with all the cast, director Sharon Maguire, and author Helen Fielding. They discuss the casting, the dialogue, the accents, and more.

Deleted Scenes – There are seven deleted scenes included here. One features Bridget putting her foot in her mouth when talking to a neighbor then hearing all sorts of imaginary comments about her thighs. In a second scene she pitches a book advertising campaign to an author only to realize she’s talking to the wrong author. Then there’s more talk with her father about why her mother left him, more obsessing about Hugh Grant’s character, and more. One funny scene features Bridget trying to attract Grant by ignoring him (to the tune of Ice, Ice Baby). The best of the deleted scenes features a montage of characters reacting to Bridget and Colin Firth’s character getting together. If you enjoyed the film then you’ll enjoy seeing more of Bridget embarrassing herself.

Over 100 Original Bridget Jones’s Diary Columns – This is a text feature which includes many of the original Bridget Jones article columns by Helen Fielding.

The Bottom Line:
Bridget Jones’s Diary is a fun chick flick for both men and women. If you already own the DVD, I’m not sure that the new bonus features make this edition worth buying. However, if you’re gearing up for the sequel and haven’t seen the original, this is the one you’ll want to get.