As moviegoers in the UK at least know, anything written by Richard Curtis has a good chance of being brilliant. From the Blackadder TV series through Four Weddings and a Funeral to Notting Hill, his scripting input has been second to none.
With Bridget Jones's Diary, a film based on a deliberately shambolic bestselling book by Helen Fielding - who co-wrote the screenplay too - Curtis has managed to keep the mood and themes of the original work, yet structure it into a real winner of a film. However ghastly Bridget is, with her "summits" about men with her two girlie friends and their hag fag (the excellent James Callis), however much Texas' own Renee Zellweger as Bridget delights us with her Paltrowesque adoption of an upwardly mobile English accent, it is the script that makes this film special. Colin Firth, playing a stiff-upper-lip barrister who falls for Bridget, is at his best with subtle facial nuances which would not have been possible if the script had been naff.
While Firth is excellent, Hugh Grant is a revelation, showing us what we already knew, that he is a master of timing, delivery and speech. As he gets to play the baddie this time round, he must be delighted too, for it is a welcome change of role for him. Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones are also convincing as Bridget's parents. With so many worthy ingredients to mix together, it is little wonder that first time director Sharon Maguire lets her cast and script get on with it, prefering not to interfere. Good call.
The funniest moments are too numerous to mention in their entirety; blue soup being served for a dinner party, Bridget as TV presenter sliding down a fireman's pole, Bridget as Audrey Hepburn in Grant's Roller - losing her headscarf and looking like she's suffered an input of around 240 volts - and a slapstick fight between Firth and Grant, interrupted by a sing-song of Happy Birthday. The preview show I attended entertained its audience and in places had them rolling in the aisles, Renee Zellweger winning them over to Bridget's side early on; and the endpiece joke at the expense of Hugh Grant's character is worth sticking around for.
In short, Bridget Jones's Diary is light entertainment at its best. Go see it.