Renee Zellwegger as Bridget Jones enters the ranks of full fledged movie star. She has arrived. In Bridget Jones’s Diary she does what few female stars in pictures get to do. Namely really star in her own movie, ala Bette Davis. You know, the kind of movie where she is in virtually every scene and is the clear emotional center of the story. This is one of the juiciest roles to come along in some time; particularly if you don’t count any part played by either Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock. Renee Zellwegger, besides doing a flawless accent (at least to my untrained ear), gives her role just the right combination of realness and romanticism. She is both pathetic and completely sure of herself at one and the same time. And she allows herself to be truly average looking, something fairly rare in Tinsel Town.
As Scott briefly mentioned Hugh Grant plays against type here and for good affect. He shows guts in his willingness not only to play the heavy, but by being so damn good at it he makes it abundantly clear that he truly understands the mind of a cad. It also appears that he has been lifting weights, at least I don’t remember his chest as being that defined.
Unlike Scott I had no idea who the hell Colin Firth was until now. I fell asleep during Shakespeare In Love, I have never seen Pride & Prejudice and it has been many years since I last watched Another Country. I shan’t forget him again.
Despite these bravura performances and some fairly humorous moments the overall script and direction do not match up. There is too much fluctuation in mood between a gritty, chain-smoking, gin swilling English sensibility and a Disneyish, predictable, sunny southern Cali feel. Know what I mean? Anyway, since not much else is playing right now go see it and decide for yourself.