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Bridget Jones's Diary

A diary is a very personal thing. You fill it with your deepest thoughts and your innermost secrets. You fill it with tales of love and loss, and if you've led any kind of interesting life, descriptions of wild sex involving harnesses, lubricant and possibly some vegetables.

At least mine is, but then again, it's pretty much a work of fiction. It also recounts the time I saved the world from deranged space aliens who all looked incredibly like 1991 Playboy Playmate of the Year Lisa Matthews.

So I sat down at a showing of the new Hip-Brit comedy, Bridget Jones' Diary, ready for anything.

What I got was more of the same.

Bridget Jones' Diary was created by the same people who created Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. These three movies are identical. The filmmakers keep going back to the well and stirring up these warmly humorous ditties by mixing and matching the same ingredients.

1) Start with a career bachelor or bachelorette.
2) Surprise them with a relationship.
3) Hook up Hugh Grant with an American actress.
4) Add wacky group of friends.
5) Threaten to have relationship end because someone is going to America.
6) Live happily ever after while declaring their love in an act of nature. (Snow, rain, press conference)

It's cute, it's warm, it's sweet. It's been done before. And it still works.

The only difference this time is that Hugh Grant isn't the lead- he's the complication. Instead of Hugh, we obsessively follow Renee Zellweger as she obsesses to her overly-obsessive friends about her life.

We begin at Christmas, where Bridget decides that her life is in shambles and the only way to change it is to start a diary. One year later, the movie is over.

In between, we read her diary.

But only the good parts. Let's be honest: for every entry which reads "shagged movie star Hugh Grant rotten" are ten entries which read "sat home alone and watched The Weakest Link, bloody hell that woman's evil!"

So this film truthfully ought to be titled "The Good Bits of Bridget Jones' Diary."

And they are some pretty good bits. Texan Renee Zellweger is surprisingly sufficient playing British Everywoman Bridget Jones. Much as I'd love to make the obvious Texan accent jokes "Why don't y'all just sit down and have yerself a cup-a-tee," she's actually quite good, and you quickly forget that she hails from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and the other usual British actors who always show up in these movies round out the cast, convincingly playing British people. They're really quite good at it.

But Bridget is the centerpiece. It's her diary- we just live in it. I'm giving Bridget Jones' Diary 3 Babylons. That's 3.5 Babylons for those of you working with the metric system.


Editor's Note:

The SMC forwarded me this review with the following note attached:

Dear Editor,

I don't think this is my best work.

Love,

The Self-Made Critic

Now, I beg to differ. Despite the plethora of grammatical mistakes, I believe this is classic SMC -- plus, it's nice and short.


Bridget Jones's Diary
Rated: R
Directed By: Sharon Maguire
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Patrick Barlow, Honor Blackman, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Jim Broadbent, James Callis, Embeth Davidtz and Her Majesty, The Queen.

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