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"Bridget Jones’s Diary" Movie Review

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"Bridget Jones’s Diary" Movie Review essay
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Bridget Jones’s Diary is a movie that was released in 2001 that was highly enjoyed by audiences all over the world. The movie is centered around Bridget Jones, a young British woman in her early 30s, portrayed by Renee Zellweger, who worries she will die “fat and alone”. Bridget battles with her self-confidence, which stems from struggles with her weight and affinity for drinking and smoking. Bridget Jones works in publicity at book publishing firm in London. The movie follows her relationships with two men, Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth, and Daniel Cleaver, played by Hugh Grant, and how her communication with each man shapes her relationships with them. As the film begins, we are introduced to Bridget as her mother tries to set her up with Mark Darcy, whom she has known since they were young, and overhears him saying rude things about her. She then decides to ‘turn her life around’ and the plot of the movie follows her pursuits to take control of her life and pursue a more confident sense of self.

The movie is relatable for young women as it deals with the social pressures of dating and self-confidence. There is an overwhelming number of messages in media portraying how women ‘should’ look, impossible standards of beauty that are assumed as desirable. There are also standards for whom women should choose as a desirable partner. The film showcases this through Bridget’s desire to be with her handsome and successful boss. Daniel Cleaver, Bridget’s boss, shows that though the idea of the handsome successful man can come off as the best possible partner, but there are risks when aiming for the partner that society deems ‘perfect’. This is shown in the film when Bridget discovers Cleaver cheating on her. Bridget was so thrilled with her relationship with Cleaver and was initially in disbelief that they were together. When she discovered him with another woman, it greatly upset her and led her to have even more doubts about herself and her beauty. The idea of the societal idea of a desirable partner is also explored through the side plot of Bridget’s mother’s affair. Bridget Jones’s interpersonal communication skills are less than desirable. As she mostly reveals her true thoughts and feelings only in her diary, she is not easily able to communicate her true feelings in out loud. She is not great a making small talk with acquaintances or during dates. She proves to be a particularly awkward public speaker, until she becomes successful in her television job. Though Bridget is not all to blame for her lack of interpersonal skills, she is often faced with awkward questions and direct offensive comments from family and friends. She tries to answer to the best of her ability, but often comes off as shrewd and standoffish.

The film depicts Bridget Jones’s as having needs that she works to meet. She feels a need for love and belonging. “Short-term initial attraction gets relationships started, but the process of changing to long-term maintenance attraction involves working through a series of stages, each reflecting changes in attraction, self-disclosure, and intimacy” (Beebe, Beebe, Redmond 2014).Bridget desires to feel loved by a partner and a ‘normal’ sense of familial belonging. People in relationships have ‘complementary needs’, which is when each partner contributes something to the relationship that other needs. Bridget’s relationship with her boss, Cleaver, is not an equal contribution, as Bridget is more emotionally involved in the relationship than Cleaver. “If you can meet someone’s need, then you have power” (Beebe, Beebe, Redmond 2014). Cleaver meets Bridget’s needs on a surface level initially, which allows him power to have influence over her emotions, but as she gains more confidence within herself and experiences a much more genuine fulfillment of her needs with Darcy, she realizes that he did not fulfill her needs. This change in Bridget’s attitude is shown after Darcy hits Cleaver and Cleaver wants to be in a relationship with Bridget again and she turns him down, as she realizes she deserves better in an interpersonal romantic relationship. Bridget’s relationship with herself however, evolves into a much more balanced one, in which she becomes much more aware of her own needs and how to achieve them. Her needs are met as her relationship with Mark Darcy expands. He provides her a sense of belonging that she does not receive elsewhere.

Bridget makes several mistakes during the movie. The biggest mistake being that she relies heavily on the opinions of others to influence her opinion of herself. Though it is normal for people to be influenced by their families, Bridget is especially influenced by the opinions of her mother – who focuses on Bridget’s personal life entirely too much for a woman with a daughter in her 30s. Placing emphasis on self-help books is another mistake that Bridget Jones makes. By believing that what is written in these books, Bridget does not allow herself to believe what is best for her with her genuine desires, she lets these books tell her what is better. When Darcy states, “I like you just the way you are”, Bridget is stunned to learn that this person she did not like initially, and believe to feel the same about her, causes a shift in Bridget’s confidence. This idea that she is perfect the way she is, is not one she is familiar with, but one that she learns to believe. Bridget’s relationship with her mother is strained as it is shown how her mother is constantly trying to set her up with ‘nice, young men’.To Bridget, this is only solidifying her underlying belief that she is not perfect just the way she is. Having her mother constantly reminding her of her lack of a partner, makes for a strained relationship.

As the movie progresses and Bridget’s mother leaves her father for another man, we are shown that her mother is also just another woman going through the struggle of trying to find what is best for her and trying to live up standards of perfection. Bridget interprets Daniels behavior in an impractical manner, as she initially believes his intentions are to cultivate a positive relationship with her, only to learn that he is not a good person and does not have the same intentions as she does. Conversely, she interprets Darcy’s behavior very realistically. From the first scene of the film where we see Bridget and Darcy interacting at her mother’s turkey curry Christmas party, she takes his words literally and believes that his intentions are aligned with his demeanor towards her. As their relationship expands, she begins to utilize him for emotional support in her pursuit towards self-acceptance.

The end of the film does indeed seem rushed. Suddenly, Darcy is willing to give everything up and be with Bridget. Then, just as quickly as he professed his feelings for her, he reads her diary and is seemingly upset and leaves her apartment without saying a word. Then, just as quickly as he left, he is not upset, and is buying her a new diary and they are kissing and seemingly happy together. I was not fully convinced that Darcy would have behaved as heroic as he did, but this could be for lack of context. Was Darcy dating his colleague, Natasha? If he was, has he left her to be with Bridget? The lack in information could lead to assumptions that he could potentially be another man to break Bridget’s heart, as complications with another woman could potentially ensue. Also, as Darcy’s character is portrayed in the film as a boring and awkward man, it doesn’t seem realistic that he would be so willing to give up a huge career move for a woman he has never even kissed before.

Bridget Jones’s diary is a film that can be used as a beneficial study of interpersonal communication. By analyzing Bridget’s communication throughout the film, one can study how someone’s inner thoughts can evolve into practical and useful communication. “People tell themselves stories and then pour their lives into the stories they tell”. Bridget’s decision to keep a diary of her thoughts and goals allows her to improve upon herself and her relationships with others.

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“Bridget Jones’S Diary” Movie Review. (2019, November 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from
““Bridget Jones’S Diary” Movie Review.” GradesFixer, 26 Nov. 2019,
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