Texan-born Renee Zellweger (of Jerry Maguire fame) stars as
Bridget, while Hugh Grant is her playboy boss, Daniel Cleaver,
and Colin Firth is Mark Darcy, a stand-offish and arrogant lawyer
whose cold-hearted exterior belies a deep felt love for the
accident-prone Ms Jones.
Backing them up is a first-rate script from Richard 'Four Weddings'
Curtis and a wonderful support cast featuring the likes of Jim
Broadbent, James Callis, Neil Pearson and - in a couple of delightful
cameos - Honor Blackman, Salmon Rushdie and Jeffrey Archer.
Still not convinced?
Then consider that Zellweger gives an outstanding performance
as BJ, quickly dispelling any fears that a Texan could not carry
off such a British role, and effortlessly easing her way into
For while she may sound irritating, Bridget manages to be funny,
tragic, feisty and vulnerable all at the same time, enabling
you to laugh along with her, cringe at her mishaps or sympathise
during her moments of strife - never more so than when she goes
through the range of emotions, breadstick in hand, while miming
drunkenly along to 'All By Myself' during the opening titles.
Grant, also, is better than he's been for ages, cast against
type as the bastard of the piece and displaying the sort of
roguish charm not usually associated with his 'nice guy' celluloid
image, while Firth is terrific fun as Darcy (and who better
to play him?), the heartbroken hero whose past experiences stand
in the way of him opening up to Bridget.
There are times when Bridget Jones's Diary could be accused
of following an obvious path, or of under-developing some of
the book's more memorable characters. It's even unashamedly
romantic at times, but this is a small price to pay given the
entertainment value on offer. In short, it is a feel-good classic
that promises to have you laughing out loud on several occasions.
And if that still doesn't sound enticing, then surely the chance
to see Grant being beaten senseless by a love rival should clinch
it for you! Go and see Bridget Jones - it will undoubtedly be
one of the year's most popular movies and should become one
of the great British romantic comedies of all time.