A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bridget Jones's Diary is a romantic comedy that's full of strong language and sexual situations. Many people find Bridget to be a likable, relatable woman, but her obsession with finding a boyfriend, among other things, make her an iffy role model. Despite her attempts to quit, Bridget drinks and smokes a lot, as do other characters. A great deal of the plot revolves around characters having sex and talking about having sex, with frequent uses of "f--k" and the British equivalent, "shag."
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What's the story?
In BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, Bridget wants to lose weight, stop smoking and drinking, and stop worrying about getting a boyfriend -- so that she can get a boyfriend. But first, she has to get through the gorgeous cad stage -- having an affair with her workaholic, alcoholic, self-centered, needy, but witty and undeniably extremely gorgeous boss, Daniel (Hugh Grant). But being taken advantage of by Daniel is not the worst of Bridget's trials. There is her mother, who leaves her father for an oily home shopping channel pitchman with a fake tan. There is showing up for a "tarts and vicars" party in a Playboy bunny outfit because no one told her that they had decided not to have the guests wear costumes after all. There is the rather stunning shot of Bridget from below as she slides down a fireman's pole, broadcast throughout the country on television. And there is the stiff and disapproving childhood neighbor, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), now a divorced barrister, who always seems to be there just as Bridget encounters disaster.
Is it any good?
Renée Zellwegger is irresistible as Bridget Jones, in this delectable romantic comedy with some sly references to that uber-romantic comedy, Pride and Prejudice. From the opening credits of , when we see her singing along with the radio to "All By Myself" in her flannel pajamas, we know that she is destined to find someone who loves her as much as we do already, and that we will have a lot of fun on the way there. Hugh Grant seems positively relieved not to have to be the stammering, adorable, truehearted "Notting Hill" guy anymore. He plays the part of Daniel, "a disaster with a posh voice and a terrible character," with such relish that viewers enjoy seeing Bridget fall for him almost as much as they enjoy seeing her tell him off.
Like his namesake in Pride and Prejudice, though, Darcy turns out to have more tenderness and humor than one would think. And so do the filmmakers. Firth, who played Darcy in the television miniseries Pride and Prejudice, appears as this Mr. Darcy as well, and his sly and subtle variation on the character is another of the great pleasures in Bridget Jones's Diary.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about self image in Bridget Jones's Diary. What sort of factors do you think affect Bridget's body image and self-esteem?
How do we sort through all of the expectations of our families and our society to decide who we will be and what chances we will take?
What does someone have to know about herself in order to turn down a Daniel? In order to understand what someone like Darcy has to offer?
How does Bridget Jones's Diary relate to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice? What similarities are there between the two stories? What is different in the modern setting?
- In theaters: April 13, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: November 9, 2004
- Cast: Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Renee Zellweger
- Director: Sharon Maguire
- Studio: Miramax
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Book Characters
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language, sexual references and situations
- Last updated: February 26, 2021
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