This post includes a character analysis of Bridget Jones, the protagonist of “Bridget Jones’ Diary”. Beware of spoilers.
Directed by Sharon Maguire, the 2001 romantic comedy stars Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones. “Bridget Jones’ Diary” (2001) is based on a 1996 novel of the same name written by Helen Fielding. Today’s post is solely based on the film, not the novel.
Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
In “Bridget Jones’ Diary”, Bridget Jones is a single woman in her thirties, meets lawyer Mark Darcy at a New Year’s party. Despite their parents’ matchmaking attempts, they don’t get along. After Bridget overhears Mark criticizing her, she decides to improve herself.
As a New Year’s resolution, Bridget decides to quit smoking and drinking, lose weight, and find a boyfriend. Meanwhile, Bridget develops a crush on her boss, Daniel Cleaver. They start dating after he tells her that Mark betrayed him. However, Bridget finds another woman at Daniel’s place and breaks up with him.
After quitting her old job, Bridget lands a new job as a reporter. At a dinner party, Bridget realizes she’s the only single person there. Mark confesses his feelings for her and she starts to reconsider her opinion of him. At her birthday party, Daniel shows up drunk and fights with Mark. Bridget criticizes Mark for his violence but later learns from her mother that Daniel lied about Mark’s betrayal.
Regretfully, Bridget confesses her feelings to Mark, but he’s leaving the country for a job. Just as Bridget is about to leave for Paris with friends, Mark appears. He finds Bridget’s old diary at her apartment and leaves. Bridget thinks he left because of the diary, but he returns with a new diary as a sign of a fresh start. They share a deep kiss.
Bridget Jones Character Analysis in “Bridget Jones’ Diary”
“Bridget Jones’ Diary” presents its protagonist as a single woman living in London who is constantly obsessed with her weight. She works in publishing and often indulges herself with a cigarette and a glass of wine. In addition, this woman has a distinctive fashion sense.
In terms of personality, Bridget Jones is relatable and endearing. Sometimes, she can also be quite insecure about her looks. For the most part, Bridget is a romantic, constantly in search of love. Despite her insecurities, Bridget can be incredibly determined and resilient when she wants to be. This inner strength allows her to often pick herself up after setbacks.
Bridget Jones Character Development
In “Bridget Jones’ Diary”, Bridget and her personality undergo significant changes throughout the story. She starts as an insecure woman, but then Bridget gradually evolves into a more confident and self-assured individual. Someone who is comfortable in her own skin and knows what she wants in life.
After overhearing Mark Darcy’s criticism, she resolves to improve herself. This journey involved quitting smoking, losing weight, and navigating romantic relationships. Although her relationship with Daniel Cleaver ends in heartbreak, it becomes a turning point for Bridget. She leaves her job, becomes a reporter, and gains self-confidence.
Despite setbacks, Bridget remains resilient and authentic. When she learns the truth about Mark’s alleged betrayal, Bridget takes the initiative to mend their relationship. By the end, Bridget had grown into a more confident and self-assured woman. Not only did she become more assertive career-wise, but also regarding her relationships with men.
Bridget Jones and Themes
“Bridget Jones’s Diary” uses its protagonist to explore themes of self-improvement, resilience, and the pursuit of love. The decision to quit smoking, lose weight, and find a boyfriend reflects societal pressures and personal desires for change. Having said that, Bridget embodies the struggle of those who strive to better themselves but face setbacks along the way.
Resilience is another key theme portrayed through Bridget Jones’ character. Despite heartbreak with Daniel Cleaver and initial misjudgments about Mark Darcy, Bridget doesn’t give up on love. In addition, she leaves an unfulfilling job to become a reporter, showing her determination to improve her professional life.
Another central theme in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” is the pursuit of love. Bridget’s relationships with Daniel and Mark highlight the complexities of love and the importance of trust and honesty. Her journey involves navigating these relationships and learning from her experiences.
Finally, Bridget Jones’s character development conveys the theme of self-acceptance. Despite her insecurities and perceived flaws, she learns to accept herself as she is. This is evident when Bridget chooses not to let others’ opinions define her self-worth.
Bridget Jones has a unique blend of strengths and weaknesses that shape her journey throughout “Bridget Jones’ Diary”. Through the protagonist’s struggles and growth, the film manages to effectively portray the themes mentioned above. It makes Bridget’s story engaging and relatable for the audience.
While Bridget Jones may not be the most astute individual one might encounter, she is kind-hearted and means well (most of the time). Bridget knows that she needs to change in order to do better in life, but her initial reasoning behind it was somewhat misguided.
Bridget’s New Year’s resolutions seem to be driven primarily by her quest for an ideal partner. However, this leads one to ask: why didn’t she consider abandoning her unhealthy habits (drinking and smoking) for herself? Maybe if Bridget loved herself a bit more, she wouldn’t be struggling so much with finding a good man.
Despite being one of the most iconic female characters in literature and film, Bridget Jones is far from being a role model. First of all, she is way too obsessed with men (or finding a man) and her appearance. Second, one could argue that her energies could be better directed towards personal growth and career advancement rather than romantic entanglements.
Nevertheless, one should not judge Bridget Jones’ too harshly. As mentioned, there are many positive qualities about her. Overall, Bridget is neither a messed up human being nor a bad individual. She is just human, encapsulating the complexities and contradictions that come with it.