DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Sharon Maguire
Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Gemma Jones, Celia Imrie, James Faulkner, Jim Broadbent, Charmian May, Paul Brooke
Writing Credits:
Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis

A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.

Box Office:
$26 million.
Opening Weekend
$10.733 million on 1611 screens.
Domestic Gross
$71.500 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 98 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 7/19/2011

• Audio Commentary with Director Sharon Maguire
• “The Bridget Phenomenon” Featurette
• “The Young And The Mateless” Featurette
• “Portrait Of The Makeup Artist” Featurette
• Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
• 7 Deleted Scenes
• “A Guide to Bridget Britishism” Featurette


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Bridget Jones's Diary [Blu-Ray] (2001)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson/Brian Ludovico (August 22, 2016)

Adapted from Helen Fielding’s novel, 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary introduces us to the title character and her lifestyle. A single British woman, Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) finds herself unlucky in love.

Bridget encounters some potential boyfriend candidates, though they come with snags. Her mother attempts to set Bridget up with childhood acquaintance Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), but the pair butt heads and show no interest in each other.

Bridget see sparks ignite with Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), but two concerns arise. For one, Daniel’s her boss, and for another, he’s a known cad. We follow Bridget’s path to romantic happiness and all the obstacles she must face.

Despite all the melodrama inherent in this premise – with its liberal borrowings from Jane Austen - Diary doesn’t ever get too dramatic, sticking to the comic roots of the characters. There is no shortage of laughter throughout the relatively brief running time, and the movie ends as comedies generally do, on a predictable but nonetheless entertaining note.

The film rests firmly on the performances of its three central characters. Grant provides a different version of the character we associate with him. Yes, he’s still a charming, smug, smiling ladies man, but this time, he doesn’t have the heart of gold.

Grant deserves credit for keeping the character enough of an a-hole for us not to like him, but appealing enough to see why Bridget would want him. Firth plays Mark as if he relishes the character, aloof and emotionally guarded most of the time, but with a sort of undercurrent of ‘good’ about him.

Zellweger gets the real accolades. She’s perfect as the title character, right down to her accent.

Though she’s already proven that she’s got a firm grip on comedy as an actress, she hadn’t sold me on her ability to carry a starring comedic role before this. The movie’s are generally minor, but one of them seems unavoidable: the main comedic device of female neurosis that centers on the overemphasis of the need for a man. This comedic device is the female equivalent of “men think with their genitals.” Neither should be portrayed as often as they are, but at least in Bridget Jones’s Diary, it’s not completely beaten to death. This movie could have been as annoying and ridiculous as Fox’s Ally McBeal, but Maguire has a firm grip on the reins, and keeps the ‘fantasy sequences’ short and limited. P> The other problem I had: do we really live in a world where 135 pounds is considered “fat”? To be honest, I never found Zellweger particularly attractive, at least not until this movie. She actually looks feminine here, natural, and even “hot”.

Hey, it takes different strokes to move the world, but I don’t go for the drawn, emaciated look that Zellweger sports in her other films and in the press material for this movie. I think her “realistic” look here - and Zellweger’s apparent comfort with it - contributes to how much I like the character.

While I do have a couple of problems with the story’s main theme, I really love the characters and think the pacing is perfect. With such a pair of ‘names’ in the cast, it would have been easy, particularly for a first time director, to let this movie run long, but it is just right at 100 minutes. It’s a ‘chick flick’ that doesn’t aim below the belt, and gives open-minded male viewer a chance to enjoy it.

The Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio C+/ Bonus C

Bridget Jones’s Diary appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a mediocre presentation.

Sharpness seemed erratic, as definition varied a lot. Some shots offered reasonably good clarity, whereas others would be loose and fuzzy. The majority of the film delivered acceptable accuracy, but the results never seemed especially concise. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, but I saw light edge haloes at times and the movie exhibited something of a “processed” look. Print flaws failed to become a factor.

Like everything else, colors lacked consistency. Overall, the hues seemed bland and without much vivacity – except when they appeared too heavy. Blacks were too dark, and shadows lacked clarity. This was never a terrible image, but it was consistently blah.

Given the subject matter, I expected a low-key effort from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, and the audio followed suit. This was a standard “comedy mix” without much in terms of involvement.

Music showed good stereo presence, and score/songs also used the surrounds pretty well. Effects tended to be less active, though. Occasional scenes – street shots, parties, etc. – boasted a modicum of rear channel information, and some localized dialogue popped up on rare occasion. Most of the time, though, the soundscape stayed limited; even the “showier moments” – like a fight – failed to do much with the various speakers.

Audio quality was acceptable. Speech could be a bit reedy but remained intelligible, and effects showed decent accuracy. They had little to do and appeared clear, if without range. Music fared best, as the score and songs usually came across with fairly positive pep. I couldn’t say the soundtrack disappointed me, but it also seemed uninspiring.

The set includes a decent array of extras, and these start with an audio commentary from director Sharon Maguire. She provides a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, and connected areas.

Overall, Maguire delivers a pretty informative chat. Despite occasional lulls, she manages to cover a good array of topics in a pleasing manner. These factors lead to a satisfactory chat.

Seven Deleted Scenes run a total of 11 minutes, 54 seconds. These offer a bit more exposition, especially in terms of the Bridget/Daniel relationship, and we find a few purely comedic beats. We also locate a cute coda. Nothing essential occurs, but the clips entertain.

Next we get a mix of featurettes. The Young and the Mateless fills eight minutes, 14 seconds with info from author Karen Salmansohn, Allure Magazine editor in chief Linda Wells, Sex and the City executive producer/writer Jenny Bicks and journalist Alex Kuczynski. They discuss the difficulties faced by the single woman in the modern world. This mainly seems whiny.

With The Bridget Phenomenon, we find a six-minute, 36-second piece with notes from Maguire, author Helen Fielding, producers Eric Fellner and Jonathan Cavendish, and actors Hugh Grant, Sally Phillips, James Callis, Colin Firth, Renee Zellweger, Jacinda Barrett, and Gemma Jones. “Phenomenon” discusses the reasons for the series’ success. This echoes the whininess of “Mateless” and promotes the Diary sequel, so it lacks value.

The nine-minute, 38-second Behind the Scenes Featurette includes Maguire, Fielding, Zellweger, Grant, Firth and actor Embeth Davidtz. It covers story/character areas as well as cast and performances. Despite a few shots from the set, this becomes another fluffy, largely information-free piece.

Portrait of the Makeup Artist fills five minutes, four seconds with remarks from chief makeup artist Graham Johnston. He tells us a little about his work on the film. No one will mistake this for a deep featurette, but Johnston manages to offer some good insights.

Finally, A Guide to Bridget Britishisms two minutes, 21 seconds. This shows movie scenes and translates the lines into material more understandable for Americans. If you need this for translation, you’re too stupid to run a Blu-ray player.

The disc opens with ads for , Everything Must Go, I Love You Phillip Morris, Immigration Tango and The Switch. No trailer for Diary appears here.

Bridget Jones’s Diary isn’t an esoteric female comedy - it’s just plain funny. It’s a good chick flick, with an interesting, well-paced story and authentic, likable characters. The Blu-ray provides mediocre picture and audio along with supplements highlighted by a fairly enjoyable commentary. The movie works but the Blu-ray seems lackluster.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main