Thursday, January 6, 2011

You Haven't Seen That Yet??? - Bridget Jones's Diary

Plot: It's Monday morning. Bridget (Renée Zellweger) has woken up with a headache, a hangover and her boss. Wickedly clever, this tale of Miss Jones's yearlong odyssey from Mr. Right-here-right-now (Hugh Grant) to Mr. Right (Colin Firth) delivers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the female mind. Zellweger, Firth and Grant are perfectly cast in this popular adaptation of Helen Fielding's best-selling novel. via.

Nicole's Rating: A

Why She's Appalled Matt's Never Seen It: I think it's bullshit that, if a movie gets the label "chick flick," it's automatically considered to be not that good of a movie. I admit, there are "chick flicks" out there that are pretty freakin' bad and I like them anyway because, well - guilty pleasure and all that. But not all of these flicks deserve the bad rap that they get. And so, I'm giving Bridget Jones the chance to prove Matt (and therefore all men, everywhere) wrong.

The first Bridget Jones is probably one of my favorite movies. I honestly watch it more than is probably considered necessary or healthy to watch a movie. In fact, Matt has had my copy for a couple months now and I've sorely missed it. It's just so funny, from beginning to end. There isn't a single weak moment. And, in my opinion, it's probably Renee Zellweger's best performance.You know, apart from that other critically acclaimed performance in that other movie.

The movie is based off the similarly named book by Helen Fielding (which I also loved) which is a modern re-telling of Jane Austen's famous novel Pride & Prejudice. The character of Mark Darcy was actually based off of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC Austen series and, wonderfully enough, they got Colin Firth to actually play Mark Darcy. Perfection! Hugh Grant, who is also mentioned in the book as a lothario, plays Daniel Cleaver (for Austen fans: Wickham). A strong supporting cast helps make the movie - Bridget's three best friends that you honestly wish you knew(including my fav James Callis!) and her parents - her father played by another favorite of mine, Jim Broadbent.

Just such a strong, funny movie that should never, ever be passed by.

Matt's Rating: B-

Matt's Review: First, I find it incredibly awesome that Nicole believes I represent ALL OF MEN! Second, this movie was "meh." Let me explain:

I thought Renee Zellweger was great. The best, I believe, she has ever acted. I also really enjoyed Colin Firth's character. I liked how every time you see him, he looks like he's ready to blow his head off. That constantly miserable look is just funny to me. Hugh Grant was rather annoying. He was trying too hard to be a dick. His lines were good but I felt like you knew he was acting. After watching About A Boy I gained a lot of respect for him as an actor. It showed him being emotional, funny, and deep all at once. However in Diary he was very VERY one dimensional.

There were a bunch of funny moments and I actually snickered out loud, which is a major change from my usually stone faced reaction to any movie, but it just wasn't a story I was drawn in to. I think the main character and story caters itself to being more of an emotionally female story. I'm not saying it's any less of a movie because of that, I just think it plays on a lot of typical emotions, thoughts, and reactions that women have, do, and can easily relate to. It's definitely one of the better "chick flicks" I have seen but outside of Renee Zellweger it's a slightly above average movie.

Having said all that, I do believe that this is a film that gets better with each viewing. Not because it's that layered and you catch new stuff but because once you know the characters their lines and emotions become funnier. Unfortunately, during a first viewing you don't get a full grasp of the characters until almost 40 minutes in. The beginning of the movie felt too rushed and it was done as if it was the middle of the movie and we supposed to already know these characters. Again, I think that if I watch it again I will like it more......if I watch it again...

[Edit by Nicole: He will.]


  1. "It plays to a lot of typical emotions, thoughts, and reactions that women have, do, and can easily relate to." Are you serious? Please, please tell me you were joking when you wrote that, and your intended tone just didn't come through in your writing. So humor, self-doubt, embarrassment, silliness, etc. are exclusively female emotions. Are you kidding me? Truly stupid comment.

    Oh, and Hugh Grant was amazing in this - his acting was anything but one-dimensional (it was a subtle change at times, you know, like what happens in real life). And while he does come across as a dick in the movie, I'm pretty sure that comes naturally to him - the director (who is friends with Grant) noted that he's very much like that character, and that he ad-libbed a lot while shooting.

    In conclusion, this movie is amazing and I didn't like your review. But Nicole says 'Hi'.

  2. I still utterly disagree with you about hugh grant. If he is like that in real life then is he doing any actual acting??? I think the answer is no. I like him being a dick. I find it funny, mainly because I, being a typical man, have a tendancy to be a dick. Again, I think he CAN act (see: About a Boy) but a true actor layers his performance with more than one or two emotions, in this case horny and dickhead. Maaaaybe I should blame the director for that. Im not saying I didnt like the character, I just think from a pure acting stand point it was a little one note-ish.

    In terms of the female emotion thing, I dont think I explained myself correctly. Bridget has normal HUMAN emotions but the way she reacts to them (the title sequence for example, with the ice cream and long funny singing) is generally a female reaction. You have to realize I'm generalizing here. You also have to realize that there are typical hollywood cliches for comedic female emotions, such as lots of sugary foods and singing.

    Nicole actually pointed out that once when I was sad I built a fire and drank beer. She believes that's the same. She's kind of right, its the same emotion but reacted to differently. Fire and beer vs. ice cream and singing.
    So I guess her reactions rather than her emtions are what I found to be more female driven.

    I mean the movies premise is abouta woman that writes a diary of her feelings. So, I think its safe to say that the film will be, well, girly (and use girly just because im sick of saying female)

    Hell, look at the tagline for the movie:
    "All Women Keep Score... Only The Great Ones Put It In Writing."
    That has a very feminine tone to it. AGAIN, NOT A BAD THING. I'm just saying it has a feminine tone to it, so therefore I couldn't get invested %100...since I'm not a woman.

    I still gave it a B-...which isn't bad.

  3. I told her that was a good grade for you to give. She was still mad.

  4. OK, I'm responding again (but this is going to be the last time because I'm pretty sure my job isn't paying me to do this).

    Hugh Grant is playing a character very similar to himself, which any actor can tell you isn't the same as being yourself day-to-day; it's still acting, and it's still hard. And I saw a whole lot more in his performance than horny and dickhead. He looked like he actually felt bad/guilty at times, he looked amused at times, he looked serious at know, the whole range of human emotions thing. Either way let's just agree to disagree, because I thought he was quite good.

    As for the female reactions, ie. eating ice cream and the singing along to music thing - those are funny because they're cliches (note: how do you do an accent sign in here?), but I wasn't aware that they were only funny to women because they're cliches about women. Are you saying men won't enjoy them because they can't relate? What was your point? I've honestly lost track.

    Anyway, I'm just going to say this and be done - I think this movie is great, and not just chick flick great. It's a genuinely funny, well written, well acted film, and to not give it a better grade because it has a feminine tone, or because you thought it was good but only for the genre it's in (which would then imply that this genre is somehow less important than a drama), then...yup, I'm pissed again.

    Rant over - I'm sick of arguing and need lunch. Nice meeting you over...comments.

  5. "agree to disagree." Sounds good to me. That's the beauty of film.