Tuesday, 5 July 2011

100 days, 100 films; Day 19 - Bridget Jones's Diary

#82 - Bridget Jones's Diary
Yep, I warned you there would be more Chick Flicks on the list. I guess this is especially out of place since I’m not a big watcher of Chick Flicks or of romantic comedies. But I do recognise a good film when I see one. And yeah, I thought this was good and I still feel comfortable with my masculinity.

Our heroine is not actually called Bridget Jones, nor does she have a diary...okay that was a joke. Bridget is 32 and (in her words) overweight, desperate to find herself a good man and avoid a terrible fate where she’ll one day be found dead and half-eaten by Alsatians (again, her words). She strikes up a relationship with her boss Daniel Cleaver, starting out with some naughty IM-ing about her short skirt. It soon becomes clear that Daniel is a complete scoundrel and so she quits her job and goes to work in television. In the meantime, she starts to eye a childhood friend Mark Darcy whom she thought was a bit of a stuck up snob, but he says he likes her just the way she is.

Okay yeah this is definitely a Chick Flick. But it is absolutely hilarious. Poor Bridget is just a walking time bomb and you just have to keep watching to see what kind of disaster or catastrophe she gets herself into next. Highlights include her forgetting to turn a microphone on when she’s introducing an author (if that ever happens to you, feel free to shot “oy, oy, oy!” to the crowd), showing up at a party in a Playboy bunny outfit and sliding down a fireman’s pole with her skirt flying up, on national TV no less. Bridget is definitely a likeable and relatable character, even for guys because let’s face it, we’ve all gone through the annoying phase where we seem to be walking into every calamity out there.

Renee Zellweger is positively hilarious in this film and she really put a lot into it, gaining about 30 pounds and even working at a British publishing house for a month to do research (under an alias as well). Her accent is amazing and it sounds a lot more natural than her American voice. She’s pretty sexy with the English accent. I’m not a fan of Colin Firth or Hugh Grant but they both do quite well in this film. Grant is actually pretty funny as Daniel, especially when he’s feeling Bridget up and comes across her unflattering granny panties. The supporting cast are pretty fun to watch as well, including Bridget’s three whacky friends and her icy work colleague Perpetua. And we have the delicious Embeth Davidtz as the Veronica to Bridget’s betty.

There are a stream of hilarious scenes like the ones I mentioned above. My personal favourite is indeed the book launch where Bridget has to introduce her boss and of course chokes dramatically. Other runners up are the aforementioned Tarts and Vicars party which gets changed at the last minute and nobody bothers to tell Bridget. And of course once she’s caught Daniel cheating on her with an American so she leaves her job dramatically saying “if that means working within a mile of you, frankly I’d rather have a job wiping Saddam Hussein’s ass”. And props go to the hilarious fist fight scene between Daniel and Mark that spills into a restaurant during someone else’s birthday party – they’re nice enough to stop the fighting while the “Happy Birthday” is being sung.

Surprisingly for a Chick Flick, there is a bit of male-oriented fanservice in there, just for us guys to enjoy. As mentioned before there’s Bridget’s delightful Playboy bunny costume as well as the fact that she spends the last five minutes of the film in her underwear, running out into a snowstorm wearing panties. And just to settle Renee Zellwger’s weight, she looks fine to me. She isn’t too dolled up but she still looks like a normal 30-something woman. I’ve seen her skinny and she looks really unhealthy there but she looks alright in this film. And let’s not forget the one-scene wonder that is the American woman who appears completely naked with a cardboard folder covering her modesty. And we’ve got Embeth Davidtz squeezed into several nice tight dresses, shame about the hair though.

So that’s another film down and the first romantic comedy on my list. I don’t like them that much considering they’re really predictable at times, but I do like it when they mix things up and do some things differently like how it happens here. The other rom-coms on my list also play with the typical formula which is definitely something to be praised. Until next time, my friends, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

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