Rene Zellweger is a slim Texan with a thick, laconic drawl. The character of Bridget Jones is a chunky (by the author’s definition) British lass. Many readers of the Helen Fielding novel thought that the petite Zellweger was all wrong for the role, so the actress – get this – bulked up for the part. Good Lord! One look at Zellweger makes me think that if she bulked up, she must have been emaciated to begin with. This is bulking up? Put her sideways and you can see right past her. What Zellweger looks is normal; well, normal to me and you, perhaps, but really skinny (apparently) to Hollywood. In any event, she looks wonderful.
Bridget Jones is in her early thirties, unmarried, a drinker, and a smoker. On New Year’s Eve, she vows to clean up her life and make something of it, including giving up drinking and smoking and finding herself a good man to settle down with. And she likes her boss Daniel (Hugh Grant, who can play both nebbish and cad at the same time), but she doesn’t feel he likes her all that much. But before you can say “fat knickers”, Bridget has herself not one, but two beaus – and they both seem both good and bad at the same time, of course.
This isn’t a movie about juggling boyfriends, though, it’s about one ordinary woman’s attempt to improve herself, despite her own foibles and lack of inhibitions. Bridget is sprightly and intelligent, although not supersmart and certainly not always lucky in love. She’s attractive but sometimes uses her appearance to enhance her career.
The movie’s told in first person, with Bridget providing narration. Some of her observations of her boss, her coworkers, and her family are both endearing and accurate. Bridget is honest and forthright, but above all she’s one of us, and that’s the whole point of the movie. She behaves pretty much as any of us would, and it’s her realism that makes this a treat.
Bridget Jones’ Diary: 7