Hollywood Rewind | Bridget Jones Diary: Renee Zellweger shines in this Pride and Prejudice retelling

It’s not every day that you have a modern adaptation of a classic storywork wonders with critics and the general public. The film not only broke box office records, but also won the Picky Academy. The Bridget Jones Diary starring Renee Zellweger is a rare exception. Released in 2001 and led by Sharon Maguire, the Bridget Jones Diary also features British heartthrobs Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Inspired by Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones’ diary was announced with great success after its release. But, two decades later, what is the film that still impresses romantic-comedy viewers?

Yes, the cast loved it enough, and the narrative, though familiar, you root for the title heroine. But is there anything else? In fact, many actresses believe that this movie is just another run-off-mill rom-com that has the top actors billing. However, looking at it a second time, I think the general attitude of the film script not to take anything too seriously may have helped to establish this long-term relationship with its fans. The authors were able to provide life for a woman who was constantly failing, both personally and professionally, trying to be a better version of herself in advance. Despite the constant frustrations and obstacles in Bridget’s life, the woman never gave up the opportunity to make fun of herself. Even more than her outward appearance, her innate stupidity, wit and charm attracted people towards her.

For those unfamiliar, Bridget is a 32-year-old man whose personal life is always in turmoil. She is in love with her boss Daniel Cleaver (played by Hugh Grant). Later, they meet only for Bridget, whom Daniel is not serious about at all. In the midst of this chaos, Bridget develops a cold and distant friendship with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Regular push and pull happens like a love triangle, with both of her suitors actually eating blows on Bridget. The scene where Bridget has unexpected courage in her dream. Ultimately, she has to make a tough (not so much) choice to go with one of them, and (Spoiler Alert), she chooses the guy that almost every woman chooses in her place (if there are only those two options).

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Pride and Prejudice’s impact on Bridget Jones’ diary is huge in almost every sequence starring Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger. In fact, author and screenwriter Helen Fielding admitted in multiple interviews that the book is based on the novel by Jane Austen. Colin Firth, in fact, was inspired by the role played by the talented actor Vibium Darcy in the BBC’s 1995 series book adaptation. What’s more, Firth’s character in Bridget Jones is named Darcy and Mark Darcy.

Hugh Grant is very trustworthy as a beautiful patient with a rolling eye. But initially, when news came that Renee Zellweger had been selected to play Brini, there was outrage in the British press as book fans did not like playing an American British character in the British role. However, after the feature ended, everyone was silenced by Jellweger’s performance, so she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. According to IMDb, Jellweger also kept his British accent off camera. Later, co-star Hugh Grant stated that he did not know that Jellweger had a natural American accent until the end of the final schedule. Now that is truly admirable action!

The Bridget Jones Diary is currently airing on Netflix.


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