In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Film Reviews | Regular Feature of "Happy Birthday") and ends with a lunge through a large picture window and onto the street. The DVD contains a full-length commentary by the director Sharon Maguire, who indicates the fight scene arose from screenwriter Richard Curtis jokingly commenting, "Wouldn't it be fun to see Hugh Grant and Colin Firth having a punch-up?" The "fun" arises from the unexpectedness of the move. Since the two actors are well known for playing heroes in recent Austen adaptations, the fight becomes Edward Ferrars, the honorable clergyman from Sense andSensibility, punching Mr. Darcy, the noble gentleman from Pride and Prejudice. In addition to allowing the actors to cut free from their previous roles, the street brawl allows Bridget Jones's Diary to present a more boisterous interpretation of a classic than those presented in standard costume dramas. Ultimately, the scene allows Darcy to show a rougher edge. Prior to this point he exemplifies the responsible and sensitive man Bridget thinks she should idealize: he likes Bridget "just as she is," listens attentively, takes care ofothers, and cooks well. In other words, he is the epitome of a sensitive new age man, handsomely packaged in a nice suit. However, the catch to this characterization is his tendency to be manipulated and controlled by the women in his life. While exhibiting his sensitivity and awareness of the needs of others, he is hesitant to stand up for his own desires . His mother and his law partner/girlfriend both make most of the decisions in his life. The film suggests his ex-wife, who had an affair with Daniel (one ofthe factors leading to this fight), exercised similar control over Darcy. Despite his generally mild demeanor, Darcy has a strong desire to be more carefree and independent . When he sees Bridget and Daniel acting outrageously while boating—splashing about, falling in the water, and shouting —he is envious oftheir ability to be so spontaneous. The fight scene is where he allows himself to release his emotions. Early in her commentary, Maguire suggests that Darcy's polished gentleman is a "fantasy character." If this is the case, then the punch-up alters the fantasy. Maguire also suggests that Bridget does not want a "safe" man; if safety were a genuine desire she would not go out with rascals like Daniel. Bridget wants someone who loves her, respects her, is sensitive to her needs, but at the same time is a bit naughty. With the fight scene Darcy reveals that he can fit all these requirements. He is nice without being boring; he cooks, but he is not afraid to have a rumble in the street. The film allows the two sides of Darcy's character—his politeness and his toughness—to exist side by side, as depicted through the rapidjuxtaposition of apologies and punches. At the end ofthe film, Bridget comes to realize her love for Darcy. However, when they finally embrace, she expresses some surprise: "Wait a second 'Nice boys don't kiss like that'." Darcy assures her that indeed they do; actually, his words are "Oh yes they fucking do." Maguire remarks on this line, "Mark Darcy is not the polite goody-goody we thought him to be. He swears like everyone else. Cool guy." The swearing ends the film. It reinvents Darcy as a romantic hero for the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries; a man who combines the gentlemanly appearance of Jane Austen's leading man, the passionate emotions of BBC's Darcy, and an added dose of playful rebelliousness. Cara Ann Lane University of Washington Bowling for Columbine Michael Moore has made a career out of doing three things well: sticking to his message, making that message personal, and promoting the area where he grew up. His latest film, Bowlingfor Columbine is no exception. The movie, which is now the most commercially successful documentary of all time, looks at the American gun debate through the lens of a number ofrecent tragedies involving gun deaths. The double frame story examines the April 20, 1999 shootings at Columbine High School by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and the continuing saga of socioeconomic strife in and...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 65-66
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.