Archive Review: Why Bridget Jones’s Diary is the best rom-com of all time

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With Valentine’s Day approaching what better way to spend your time than watching the greatest romantic comedy of all time, Bridget Jones’s Diary. Exams are over, so sit back and relax! Grab some popcorn and wine, and get ready to laugh, cry and swoon at Sharon Maguire’s award winning classic, based on the best-selling novel by Helen Fielding. Whether you are in a relationship, enjoying playing the field or down in the dumps this February 14th, Bridget Jones’s Diary has something for everyone.

The film boasts an incredible cast including Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent. It also won the 2002 Empire Award for Best British Film, as well as countless others such as Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Colin Firth). It was also nominated for a huge number of other awards, including an Oscar for Best Actress (Renée Zellweger).

Bridget (Zellweger), the main character, is a stereotypical British woman in her early 30s crumbling under society’s (and her mother’s) pressures to find a husband and settle down. Unhappy in her office job, a terrible cook and struggling to lose weight and give up smoking, Bridget is just like the rest of us. She is a character we can relate to; she isn’t perfect like the majority of Hollywood female protagonists, nor does this film show a transformation of an ugly, geeky girl who miraculously becomes a supermodel with the help of a makeover and some male attention. This film shows the real hardships of life for a woman in her 30s and shows that you don’t need to change for a man or to find love. We all want our very own Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) to tell us “I like you, just the way you are”.

Unlike most other films in the rom-com genre, Bridget Jones’s Diary leans more towards the comedy end of the spectrum, featuring laugh out loud moments of awkward fancy dress parties, big knickers and blue soup to name a few. Perfect for those of you with other halves this Valentine’s Day, finally a romantic comedy which men can enjoy as well – not full of soppy, cheesy moments they can roll their eyes at.

Of course there are romantic moments as well, and the main focus of the film is Bridget’s difficult choice between her “bad-boy” boss Daniel (Hugh Grant), and his enemy the handsome lawyer, Mark. With heartbreaks, fights and secrets this film does not disappoint, and results in the viewer’s great sense of empathy and compassion towards the character of Bridget. The film shows the torture of love in the 21st century yet also gives us hope that there are real romantics out there, honest people who are often overlooked and seen as “plain”.

This blockbuster is both uniquely hilarious and moving, and is the perfect film to watch this Valentine’s Day!

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), directed by Sharon Maguire, is released on Blu-ray disc and DVD in the UK by Sony Pictures, Certificate 15.

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