20 We remember the main thing, we quote our favorite, cry and laugh

20 years ago, on July 11, 2001, the cult film "The Diary of Bridget Jones" was released on Russian screens, which still remains one of the most beloved comedies around the world. We remember how the famous heroine appeared in our life and why the audience loved her so much.
20 We remember the main thing, we quote our favorite, cry and laugh


The film became the adaptation of the novel of the same name by British writer Helen Fielding, written back in 1996. His heroine, 32-year-old Bridget Jones, desperately struggled with loneliness, complexes and extra pounds, drank a lot, smoked and often overeat. And also - a classic of the genre - fell in love with a handsome boss, at the same time leaving behind the "good guy" whom her relatives wooed her. The plot is not exactly super-original, but thanks to Fielding's fiery sense of humor, the book simply captivated the audience and received positive reviews from critics.

Helen Fielding
Helen Fielding

By the way, the novel was born out of columns for The Independent, which Helen wrote. At first, the writer was asked to tell stories about herself - more precisely, about the everyday life of an unmarried Londoner. She recalls:

But the columns continued to come out and became more and more popular, readers even wrote letters to Bridget. When the author's name was revealed, Helen received an offer from the publisher to make a full-fledged book out of her articles (by that time she already had one novel on her account, but not particularly commercially successful).

20 We remember the main thing, we quote our favorite, cry and laugh

"Bridget Jones's Diary" immediately topped the ratings of British bestsellers and was named the book of the year in England in 1997, and then sold well outside the country.


The adaptation of the story of Bridget Jones was conceived even before the release of the book. Eric Fellner, board member of British film company Working Title Films, explains:

Director Sharon Maguire was invited to supervise the filming, for whom it was a debut in a feature film: she previously shot documentaries and commercials. Sharon says:

The director's words should be taken literally, because one of the characters in the book was copied from her - that same friend of Bridget Jones, Sharon. The fact is that Helen Fielding and Maguire had been friends for a long time, it was the writer who suggested her friend as a director.

Richard Curtis, who has previously worked on major British comedy projects including Mr. Bean, Four Weddings and One Funeral, and Notting Hill, helped turn the book into a script.


The press was most interested in who will play Bridget Jones. As the filmmakers say, they already had applicants for the role, when their agent Renee Zellweger suddenly phoned them with a proposal to consider the candidacy of "the very girl from" Jerry Maguire. " a sports drama starring Tom Cruise The Bridget Jones Diary team found it more than strange to invite an actress from Texas to play the lead role, but her agent persuaded the producers to meet with Renee so much that they agreed.

- says Eric Fellner.

Renee Zellweger in the movie "Bridget Jones's Diary"

20 We remember the main thing, we quote our favorite, cry and laugh

20 We remember the main thing, we quote our favorite, cry and laugh

So that 32-year-old Zellweger could get used to the image of an Englishwoman and work on her pronunciation, it was decided that she would move to London three months before filming began. She was hired a special coach to work on her British accent. The actress lived an ordinary life, took the subway, went to local restaurants, and even got an internship at the Picador book publishing house (the same one that published Helen Fielding's book). There, the actress performed various assignments - under the assumed name of Bridget Cavendish. In England, few people knew her yet, so Rene could calmly go about her daily affairs.

- says the site Hollywood.com.

20 We remember the main thing, we quote our favorite, cry and laugh

As director Sharon Maguire says, at first, no one imagined the scope of the project and was viewed more as an indie tape. However, big stars soon joined the cast: Hugh Grant agreed to play Daniel Cleaver, and Colin Firth was interested in the role of Mark Darcy.

Hugh grant
Hugh grant

20 We remember the main thing, we quote our favorite, cry and laugh

Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant

Firth gained great popularity due to the fact that he played Mr. Darcy in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice" - Helen Fielding loves this book, and the press immediately called her "Diary of Bridget Jones" a "reincarnation" of the classic work. So the writer herself was delighted that Firth accepted the offer. The actor says:

Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth


According to the director of the film, the audience liked the screen Bridget Jones so much not only because she was really funny:

For the sake of the film, Renee Zellweger gained weight - although, according to Sharon Maguire, not as much as the press imagined it:

Bridget on the screen, on the contrary, had to be different from the brilliant Hollywood stars. Costumes played an important role in this. Maguire explains:

Renee Zellweger also notes that too much attention was paid to talking about her weight:

According to media reports, Zellweger gained about seven kilograms for filming. This process was supervised by a nutritionist-endocrinologist who developed a program for the star - as reported in The Guardian, "three full meals a day, lots of snacks and no exercise."

Another of the most talked about things after the release of the film is the slimming underwear worn by the heroine. Sharon Maguire recalls:


Helen Fielding released her second book in the fall of 1999, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. As Eric Fellner of Working Title Films says, the company had no doubts that the film should have a sequel, so it immediately acquired the film rights. There was no doubt that all three leading actors would take part in the project. But the director's chair this time was taken by Biban Kidron.

In the second part, released in 2004, Bridget and Mark, it would seem, are happy together and even think about the child. But the heroine is trying to work on relationships, focusing on not always effective advice from books on psychology, besides, jealousy interferes with the idyll of love, in general, everything again does not go according to plan. And then Daniel appears on the horizon again. Further, the heroine Renee Zellweger again tries to sort out her feelings, and in the end she ends up in a Thai prison (if in the first part there were many references to "Pride and Prejudice", then the second was compared with the series "Bangkok Hilton").

Commercially more successful was the first film about Bridget Jones (with a budget of $ 25 million, it grossed nearly 282 million worldwide). The second part, on the shooting of which they spent 40 million, eventually brought its creators about 261 million dollars. However, the result is also good, and the fans were not disappointed with the sequel. But film critics took the second tape coolly. Fellner says:

The third tape was originally called Bridget Jones's Baby, but in the Russian box office it was called "Bridget Jones 3". She came out 12 years after the second film. Hugh Grant left the project, and several more stars joined Zellweger and Firth - Patrick Dempsey, Emma Thompson, who also participated in the work on the script.

Renee Zellweger and Patrick Dempsey

Eric Fellner explains how Grant did not appear in the film:

Sharon Maguire was again commissioned to direct the film, who says:

As it is clear from the English-language name, now the perspective of motherhood appears in Bridget's life. The pregnancy test turns out to be positive, but Jones has big doubts about who the father of the child is - Mark Darcy or the attractive billionaire with whom she had a fleeting affair.

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey

Fellner explained such a long pause between the second and third tapes by the fact that the writing of the script took a long time:

By the way, by the time Bridget Jones 3 was filmed, there were persistent rumors in the press about plastic surgeries undergone by Renee Zellweger: the star's appearance had really changed in those years. But, according to Sharon Maguire, these rumors were greatly exaggerated:

Renee Zellweger, 2004

The box office this time was even lower than previous tapes: 211 million on a budget of $ 24 million. However, critical reviews of the film received mostly positive.


Helen Fielding herself admitted in 2013 that she did not even expect the popularity of her heroine. In an article for The Guardian, she wrote:

While some praised Bridget Jones for her closeness to reality and a sense of humor, others, of course, criticized the book, the film, and the heroine herself. According to Fielding, feminists were not enthusiastic about her work. There is nothing to be surprised at: Bridget desperately wanted to get a boyfriend and allowed herself statements like "For a man there is nothing more unattractive than radical feminism." By the way, the writer calls this line from the first book one of her favorites:

By the way, after the third film and the books of the creators, Bridget Jones began to be praised for already more in line with feminist ideas: there the heroine was, in fact, still lonely, but she was expecting a child and planned to raise him alone, if she never got married.

In 2016, Bridget Jones was included in the BBC's list of "7 women who have changed the lives of British women in the last 70 years." In addition to her, there were such persons as Margaret Thatcher and Beyoncé. The character of the cult film and book in this rating was called "an imperfect heroine" who had "a huge impact on how women treated themselves and how they saw themselves."

- the jury members who made the rating commented on their choice. The reaction was mixed then. So, the portal Mashable wrote:

The big question is, could Bridget Jones emerge now, in the era of body positivity, independent women and the Me Too movement, but the press continues to explore the heroine's influence on the world today. Recent publications include an article entitled "Bridget vs. Millennials" on the website of the British publishing house Pan Macmillan. Its author Connie Roff discusses how the image of "a hopelessly romantic girl, constantly counting calories and looking for a man" is relevant to today's generation of 30s, and concludes that many still understand well what the heroine is talking about:

As a result, the author concludes that "Millennial women continue to learn a lot from Bridget Jones":

At the same time, the author of another article - published this spring in American Vogue under the headline "Has Bridget Jones made us hate our figures?" - notes:

According to the journalist, the image of Bridget Jones had just such an influence on the girls of her generation who grew up on comedy with Renee Zellweger. By the way, the author of the article also calls those sensational fluctuations in the artist's weight depending on the shooting not the best example for young people.

Movie facts:

1. Of the famous actresses, Kate Winslet was also considered for the role of Bridget (but she was not yet 30, so the producers considered her too young) and Toni Collette (she turned down due to her busyness in the Broadway production).

2. Renee did not leave the image, even when the camera was turned off. Hugh Grant says he first heard Zellweger speak without a British accent, only at a wrap-up party.

3. The book "Diary of Bridget Jones" according to the results of a poll conducted by The Guardian, was included in the list of "10 novels that best describe the XX century."

4. Renee for her role as Bridget Jones in the first film was nominated for a number of film awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe - but she did not receive a single statuette.

5. The fight between the heroes Firth and Grant was an improvisation. According to Colin, before filming the famous scene, he and Hugh were somewhat confused, because "both last fought in 10 years." Therefore, it was decided to shoot the fight without clear instructions from trick experts, and it turned out, as the press later wrote, "an ideal clumsy brawl between two respected middle-aged Englishmen at the entrance to a Greek restaurant." According to the same Firth, initially there was an idea to "add sex" and make the heroes rip off their shirts during a fight, but the actors were not inspired by this idea.

6. During the filming, Rene smoked some "herbal" substitutes instead of regular cigarettes - whatever that means.

7. The final episodes of the first snowfall movie were actually filmed in the summer.

Best quotes by Bridget Jones

It's equally important to find yourself a good guy and not mess with just anyone. Namely: with alcoholics, workaholics, with those who are afraid of serious relationships, suffering from erotomania or megalomania, and with moral monsters. And, finally, the main thing is not to dream of a person who possesses all these virtues.

- Why did you decide to work in television?
- I really want to communicate with children. They are our future.
- Do you have children?
- Thank God no.

The universally accepted truth is that as soon as something in your life starts to improve, something else falls apart.

I think you like to make me look like a complete fool every time we meet. You are trying in vain - I already feel like an idiot almost all the time. Both with you and without you.

I cannot go back and repeat the same mistakes. I have to go ahead and make new ones.

Friends have been looking for your boyfriend for years, and when you finally find him, they immediately make you dump him.

I realized: the secret to losing weight is not to weigh yourself.

Sometimes you need to fall to the very bottom of the abuse of fatty foods, so that later, like a phoenix, rise from the hell of extra calories refined and beautiful, like Michelle Pfeiffer.

I officially declare that the way to a man's heart is not through beauty, food, sex or good character, but only through the ability to show that you are not so interested in him.

Whatever I do, it seems to me that I should be doing something else.

The only person a woman needs in our time is herself.