|Not only is the story a fresh one (though I understand the book is already big stuff in England), the group of people the filmmakers slapped together for the cast was wonderful. Each actor was different and brought their own unique view to the story. This opinion comes from somebody about a decade younger than the star of the film. The fact that i was able to identify with Bridget Jones's problems, even though i'm not a thirty-two year old British television personality, means that this film has broad appeal.|
But it doesn't sacrifice story for the sake of being funny for a wide audience. And when i say it's hilarious, I mean it. I usually don't laugh out loud at movies, but this one had me cackling. Apparently, when Renee Zellweger was cast for the part of Bridget Jones in this film, there was some sort of uproar in England because Bridget is identified as the perfect example of women's angst during one's thirties in England. But I think Zellweger played the part very well, even if her middle-class London accent sometimes started to sound like Ozzy.
Sometimes she started bending her L's too often and began sounding like a totally different Bridget. But for the most part, her variances in accent didn't really bother me. i wasn't even paying attention to her accent during most of the movie, because i was laughing. And one of the most colorful characters in the film was Bridget's mom, (called Mum in the credits, isn't that cute) played by Gemma Jones. It was fun to see Gemma in the role of the crazy mother. The last role I remember seeing her in was as Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility. Bridget's mother is quite a different character.
But Gemma wasn't such a weird character that it stopped me from caring about her. She is likeable because of her flaws, but those flaws were not so large that they made the character unbelievable. Hugh Grant's character in this film was also very well played. His personal dilemma on dating Zellweger's character was humorously played. And i liked the fact that he was not the absolute evil in this film. In fact, no characters were absolutely evil. Everyone had more than one side to their character and because of that, the film wasn't a straight good versus evil plot wrapped up with some comedy.
Everyone had their problems and quirks and was therefore made more interesting than if they had been about just one thing. Like in an action blockbuster. Not that blockbusters are bad (I quite enjoy them), but people don't usually flock to action films for their high degree of character development. And what makes this film much more fun to watch than the usual character piece is the fact that even though people have their problems, their situations are not so dire that it's depressing just to watch the film. Like Angela's Ashes or a film of that ilk.
And Hugh Grant's character wasn't the only one fun to watch. Renee Zellweger herself has quite a talent for comic timing and many of the jokes were made more funny simply because of the way she said things and the way she screwed up her face during embarrassing moments. Everyone in this film seemed to have a good sense of timing, allowing the jokes to become more than just a few words on the page that have been said aloud. Colin Firth, who plays Mark Darcy is very good at playing the straight man in a crooked situation. Like Tommy Lee Jones was able to do in Men In Black: play the part straight while everyone around is being comedic.
Another character who was one of the most endearing of the bunch was Bridget's dad, played by Jim Broadbent. Jim's character was one of those misled husbands who doesn't really seem to have a large brain, but ends up being pretty smart and adept at figuring out how to handle his situations. Gemma and he both had great chemistry together as well. Another good element to this film was the feel of an ensemble cast that played through the movie. Bridget's friends, although they are not the main characters in the film, make for great comic relief and heartfelt drama. And that's another thing that this movie is able to do.
It is neither a straight comedy, or just a drama. It has a good balance of both and this makes the movie fun to watch, but also meaningful. On a final note, perhaps one of the funniest moments in the film occurs when Grant and Firth have a fight over Bridget. The fight takes place on the street and inside a restaurant where right in the middle of the scuffle, the men join in the singing of "Happy Birthday" to one of the customers. The fight is also funny because it's being fought by men who are not fighters by trade and really have no idea how to beat up the other person. It's like seeing a couple of boxers who don't know how to box. This film is terrifically funny, but also knows how to make its comedy serious. It has a great cast and a very good script, making it a highly entertaining experience.
Review by Kelsey Wyatt.