Bridget Jones' Diary (15) would not find except maybe by some
heavenly portent, because no-one in erchant Ivory or the BBC would have Pia Colin Firth (as Darcy) and Hugh Grant (as pleaver) together without anticipating a huge ,clash of fan clubs. 'Renee Zellweger as Junes was rather like casting the girl-next-door as a Bond girl. She was c,ornic it is true, but there are indignities in this movie which even Zellweger should be spared. -Giant's charm in this script changed beautifully frOsn being a stumbling stuttering fop in Notting Hill to playing something of a master at a public Warding school by insisting on calling the hero
Jones throughout the movie. A brilliant innovation and one that will attract an American audi,enee however apparently implausible. The effect was simply masterful if you will excuse the pun.
Darcy as dark, difficult and devastating somehow runs off with the girl and this is in large part Aire to his focused male energy. The ruthlessness ochis tongue is at times simply arresting as he sums up the youthful heroine Bridget in a short stab Wier main weaknesses (she drinks like a fish, she .wears her mother's clothes and she prattles endlessly).
'.. He is introduced though at the beginning of the srinvie as the dark force, a kind of Darth Vader to all suspecting females with "to he avoided" Liflooed across his deeply furrowed brow. Yet sosnehow between the appalling philandering Orant. who eventually ends up with a transsexual ,,
to,. a sleazy bar, and the fuming volcanic Darcy, r fridget achieves something approaching otherAwareness if not self-awareness. She discovers that the reason why there is such bad blood 'between Darcy and Cleaver is that Cleaver actually was caught in flagrante delicto with Darcy's .very lean Japanese wife. Cleaver had told all of tridget's friends that it had been the other way round. The deceitful bad bounder is a role that is new to Grant but one that he almost manages. lAis affair with Bridget begins after a flurry of eMails. Bridget falls head-over-heels in love with
Cleaver but discovers to her horror that he is in fact seeing an American heiress with attitude and a few platinum cards to boot: but worse of all, an American with a body.
Bridget is trounced in the confrontation scene at Cleaver's apartment. She stomps off to alcoholic haze and defeat. Yet not far away, like some dark angelic form, stands the ever brooding but assessing Darcy, who shows a little interest despite being shackled to an appalling aristocratic demigod called Natasha. She is a lawyer who believes that a fiancé is to be treated at all times like a prize dog at Crufts — to be called and not articulate. Clicking her way through the hilarious show-pieces of their starchy relationship she in fact manages to alienate the independent Darcy and finally loses him to the patently ridiculous Bridget.
Final scenes feature the two males battling it out and throwing each other through windows but the choreography of the fight was comic and at • times seemed to me to be like a bout of fisticuffs between two public schoolboys in Soho before twilight.
As comedy this movie will win over most immature audiences — as character development it will confirm male prejudice about young women and their ubiquitous (and sometimes iniquitous) diaries but as a promotion for Grafton Underwood this movie will turn the village outside Kettering into a goldtnine. Very charming.