I am about to show you my most inner, private thoughts. I’m going to take you inside my life and allow you to see every candid moment. Secrets will be revealed and truths unraveled. By the end of this short time we will be spending together, you will know everything.
Now I’m going to burst your bubble and admit that none of this will be happening. You’re disappointed, right? Well, that’s exactly how I felt by the end of the famous rom-com, Bridget Jones’ Diary. I thought I was going to be taken into the world of Bridget Jones and by the time the credits began rolling, I’d know every juicy detail about this Bridget girl. I mean, if I’m not mistaken, that’s what a diary is: a book full of interesting secrets and intimate details about one’s life. Now, I wouldn’t exactly want to read the diary of my 90-year-old neighbor who knits scarves for a living (unless, of course, she’s secretly in the mafia), but Bridget? She had potential.
When we’re first introduced to Bridget Jones, it is clear that she’s a likable character. She doesn’t stand at 6 feet tall with slender arms, painstakingly perfect hair, or flawless skin. No, Bridget is more of the girl-next-door type. She’s pretty – don’t get me wrong – but she’s normal. She’s relatable. You kind of feel like she could be your best friend, or even like she could be you.
Then the actual storyline picks up (or rather, lack thereof) and that’s when you lose me. It’s just not thrilling enough. Not juicy enough. It doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat. At the very least, I want a movie to make me want to continue watching simply out of curiosity, but The Diary of Bridget Jones didn’t even do that.
The basic premise of the movie is this: Bridget Jones is an unlucky in love 20-something who is searching for “the one” and thinks she has finally found it…with her boss. Just by this description, I would be dying to see this movie. There’s something about a “boss/employee” relationship that is just so intriguing. Watching this dynamic gives you the same feeling as when you ate those cookies that your mom told you were off. Or when you played that X-rated video game your dad forbade you to play. It’s wrong – you know it’s wrong – but that’s part of what makes it so fun.
Similarly, the moment Bridget flashes her boss, Daniel Cleaver, a flirty smile, we immediately sit back in our seats and prepare for an enthralling tale.
But that’s just not what happens. The writer of Bridget Jones Diary ought to read a book on how to create a successful love story because she got almost every single thing wrong. (It should be noted that this movie was adapted from Helen Fielding’s novel, so I’m going to put all the blame on her.)
A major part of the whole “boss/employee” fantasy usually has to do with the boss being a big shot. He’s this absurdly good-looking, successful, seemingly perfect guy who is unattainable. As a viewer, you root for the protagonist to get the guy because you secretly want him. Nothing is more thrilling than watching your innermost desires play out on the big screen. But in Bridget Jones’ Diary, this isn’t the case.
Instead, Cleaver seems like some sort of middle-aged creep. He sends her inappropriate e-mails at work regarding her outfit choices, and in response, she giggles and flirts back. There is absolutely nothing alluring about Cleaver and all of his gestures seem to be nothing but misogynistic and even desperate.
In one scene, Bridget and Cleaver are on an elevator with another employee and Cleaver proceeds to grab Bridget’s butt. I can tell you with absolute certainty that if a man ever did such a thing to me, he’d quickly be getting a nice, swift slap in the face. But do you want to know what Bridget did? She SMILED. How in the world can you smile when a creepy old man is GROPING YOU?!
The more Bridget engages with Cleaver, which is the bulk of the movie, the more I grew to dislike her. And when you dislike the protagonist of a movie, everything kind of loses focus. If I’m not rooting for anyone or anything, then why I am I even watching?
The major complaint I have about this movie is that, simply put, it is boring. I was given a character I could relate with and a storyline that excited me. I wanted to live out one of my fantasies in an over-the-top Hollywood film; not a boring depiction of an ordinary life. I get that the writer was probably trying to create a realistic feel, since it was based off a typical woman’s diary, but at the end of the day, this isn’t a diary. And it’s not real life. To get a taste of real life, I can observe one of my friends for free. What I want is Hollywood. I want fireworks. I want drama. I want affairs and scandals.
But in the world of Bridget Jones, none of these exist. What started out as a relatable character turned into a dull one. And what started out as a juicy plot turned out to be a total bore. The movie just didn’t evoke any feeling in me. As the relationship between Bridget and Cleaver progresses, you’d expect to be entranced, but that just wasn’t the case. To be perfectly honest, the only thing stopping me from turning the movie off halfway through was knowing I’d have to review it.
It’s safe to say I’d rather read the diary of my knitting 90-year-old neighbor than watch this train wreck again.