Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent
Directed By: Sharon Maguire
The first Bridget Jones film is 14 years old now. That’s amazing. It’s almost old enough to audition for American Idol. I rewatched the film for probably the first time since I had seen it originally, and I still enjoyed the film. Sure, Bridget can be a little obnoxious at times, but it made me miss Renee Zellweger. Somewhere along the way, the Hollywood system failed Renee. She has an Oscar to her name, and bankable films, yet she can’t find the same kind of success as Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, and Reese Witherspoon? Why did she get Meg Ryan’d?
In case you haven’t seen this film before, it’s Renee Zellweger playing sort of a frumpy single gal in England, who falls for her super attractive (and out of her league) boss (Grant), while also maybe falling for a pretty average lawyer (Firth). She goes from being single to having men fight over her. All three of the leads are perfectly cast for their roles, and the film is legitimately funny. It’s actually one of the more well-written romantic comedies, and it doesn’t lean on so many obvious plot devices. Bridget learns of her own self worth, and also gets to experience having guys fawning over her. It’s a win-win situation.
Even though Renee Zellweger got Oscar’s attention for Chicago and Cold Mountain, this might be her best remembered role. Julia Roberts has her Pretty Woman, and this is Zellweger’s Pretty Woman. If I had one nagging suggestion, it would be that the subplot of Bridget’s mother drags down the plot of the film. Sure, the payoff is nice, having her parents reunited, but the silly subplot of her mom being on some home shopping network just was too bizarre to take seriously, and not really described well enough.
But, overall, it held up. 14 years later.
FINAL GRADE: A-