‘Wait. This film is about a crime.’ A very 2024 recap of Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Recently, I decided that – as a matter of urgency – I needed to rewatch the 2001 cinematic masterpiece that is Bridget Jones’ Diary.

As with most things, my memory was hazy. I remembered a scene featuring blue soup, and a fight between two men on a rainy London street, ingeniously set to Geri Halliwell's version of 'It's Raining Men'. 

A conundrum. Image: Stan. 

I remembered it as a film I had loved, mostly because the casting of Hugh Grant and Colin Firth as competing love interests is worthy of a Nobel Prize. 


But there was another nagging thought. 

Sewn into the plot of Bridget Jones' Diary are two unquestioned, crucial assumptions. 

1. Bridget is old. Over the hill. Geriatric. She needs to meet a man quickly because the clock is audibly ticking – actually wait no that's just a family friend making literal tick-tock noises at her during a holiday party.

AHHH someone call the police, this woman is out here just being old like it's no big deal. Image: Stan.


2. Bridget is fat. She records her weight regularly in her diary, vowing repeatedly to become smaller. Renée Zellweger's quest to put on weight for the role became a story in itself because she couldn't possibly play a character terrified of dying "fat and alone" if she wasn't gorging in the lead up, consuming far more than she was used to.  

But when I actually thought back to the character of Bridget Jones, something dawned on me. Something... shocking.

I. Had. Been. Lied. To.


 By Hollywood, no less. 

Not only is Bridget not old (she's 32... I'M 32) and not fat (she's smaller than the average woman who's sat and watched Bridget Jones Diary over the last two decades), NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS ARE BAD EVEN IF THEY WERE TRUE.

But 2001 was a different time. And we were all f*cked in different ways. 

So here is my 2024 recap of Bridget Jones' Diary. 

We open with Bridget explaining that it's New Year's Day, which means she's entering her 32nd year of being single, and pause. 

Bridget. No one expected you to have a partner when you were three. Or alternatively, eight. Or even 14, really. So would we say you've been single for 32 years? Absolutely no. 

Two minutes into the movie, the following comments have been made out loud: 

- A Japanese woman (the ex-wife of Mark Darcy) is described as coming from a "very cruel race". 

- Bridget's mother looks at what her daughter's wearing and tells her, "You’ll never get a boyfriend if it looks like you’ve just wandered out of Auschwitz."


I repeat. This movie has been going for 120 seconds. 


After being accosted by an uncle who is not an uncle and is in fact a predator, Bridget is formally introduced to Mark – a man she used to play with when they were children. He appears to be clinically depressed and gives her nothing, socially, which is perhaps justified given he's recovering (?) from his cruel (?) ex-wife. 


Moments later, Bridget overhears Mark tell his mum, "I do not need a blind date. Especially with some verbally incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish and dresses like her mother."

This. Woman. Is. Having. A. Truly. Horrible. Day.

Listen to Cancelled, on Bridget Jones' Diary. Post continues after audio.

However. In Mark's defence. She does appear to have a problem with alcohol. In that she seems to be inebriated and it's mid-morning. 

But shhh because all single women are alcoholics and all alcoholics are single women and there are simply no exceptions to that rule. 

At home, Bridget sits and watches Frasier which is infinitely more dismal than anything that's happened so far. 

Luckily, she realises that her life is impossibly sad (the woman lives by herself in a two-story apartment in London on the salary of a publicity assistant, her life seems great???), and things need to change. So she starts a new diary. 

She writes down her entirely normal weight, how many cigarettes she’s smoking, how much alcohol she’s drinking, how single she is, etc, and vows to change it all. Starting with giving up lusting over her boss, which is unfortunately impossible, because her boss happens to be Hugh Grant in his prime. 

Oh. Image: Stan. 


Goodness. Image: Stan. 


Me. Image: Stan.


But then something odd happens.

This gorgeous man, Daniel, starts... straight up sexually harassing Bridget in the workplace. 

She receives an email that reads, "serious problem," and like an idiot she assumes it's related to the fact that she appears to be terrible at her job. 

But then she gets a follow-up. 

"You appear to have forgotten your skirt." 

"Is skirt off sick??"

When his behaviour continues, Bridget writes, "how dare you sexually harass me," but does that alarm Daniel? Goodness no. Instead, he responds: "P.S. Like your tits in that top."

Sir no. 


But shh because Bridget and Daniel's terrible publishing company is launching an appalling book about motorcycles and who is in attendance but Mark Darcy. 

Why? Unclear.

All we know is it is important for plot purposes for him to keep popping up on random occasions.

He's there with a woman named Natasha, and it is a fact that anyone named Natasha in movies or TV shows always looks exactly like this: 

'I'm a villain. Despite having done nothing wrong.' Image: Stan. 


We're meant to not like her because she is a well-groomed brunette and Bridget is a messy blonde, but what if Natasha is absolutely fine and it's the toxic men who are the problem. 


It becomes obvious that there's tension between Mark and Daniel, and Daniel, a noted workplace predator, tells Bridget why. You see, Mark slept with Daniel's fiancé, and he's never quite gotten over it. 

Bridget believes him because bosses who prey on their employees are notoriously honest, and next minute they're having sex. 

For plot purposes, Bridget and Daniel go away for the weekend, and who else is there but Mark and Natasha. 

While Mark and Natasha are boring and doing lawyer-ing things, Bridget and Daniel are sexy and silly. 


Classic. Image: Stan. 

But EMERGENCY there's a problem. Daniel urgently has to go home to prepare 'figures' for a 'meeting' and when Bridget questions him on whether maybe he just wants to... leave, he essentially says she wouldn't understand because she just wears her short skirts and writes press releases. 

Okay. Maybe she'd be more invested in this terrible publishing company if her boss wasn't literally sexually harassing her at work. Which makes it hard. To focus. 


With Daniel back in London, Bridget turns up to a fancy dress party (Tarts and Vicars, which feels politically incorrect but I'll allow it) alone. The problem is the theme has been abandoned, and no one thought to tell Bridget, which is precisely everyone's worst nightmare. 

In an example of excellent comedy writing, the host tells Bridget not to be embarrassed because Penny didn't get the memo about not dressing as a tart either. Except Penny did get the memo. That's just what she's wearing. 

Have I made myself clear? Image: Stan. 


Meanwhile, Mark is doing a lot of moody glaring at Bridget which I believe is meant to imply that he... likes her? 




After a truly traumatic day of dressing as a bunny for no reason and being leered at by a strange man, Bridget returns to the city to see Daniel. 

But it turns out Daniel, in a twist no one saw coming, is a dirty dog. 

He's hiding a naked American woman named Lara (who also works for the appalling publishing house) in his bathroom. When Bridget finds her, Lara remarks: "I thought you said she was thin."

Lady what is your problem. 


But also, what is it about movies of the early 2000s – specifically those written by Richard Curtis – wanting us to believe that objectively small women are large? It's really very bizarre.

Here are two slim women. Now watch as we gaslight you into thinking they're not. Image: Stan/Mamamia. 

Bridget, of course, now feels the urgent need to resign and THIS is the problem with sexual harassment in the workplace. Bridget Jones' Diary really needed to be a film about a crime, where Bridget filed a lawsuit against Daniel, remained in her job, and ended up having her unlikeable but hardworking colleague Petunia promoted to Editor-in-Chief. 


Instead, we watch Daniel explain that the reason he's with Lara is because she's a) young, b) confident and c) have you seen her face. They're also engaged. So. If Bridget could just be happy for them that would be lovely. 

Luckily she finds another job – this time in television – at a place where she's assured no one gets sacked for shagging their boss. Cool.

In the wake of her burgeoning TV career, Bridget attends an insufferable dinner with couples who look like siblings. They all think it's very sad for the "old girl" and remind her "time's running out" before again making an audible clock ticking noise and SHE'S 32 YEARS OLD AND JUST GOT OUT OF A VERY PROBLEMATIC RELATIONSHIP WITH HER BOSS LEAVE HER THE F**K ALONE.

As she's leaving, Mark Darcy approaches and hey here's a plot hole:

Why is he always... there? When apparently Bridget hadn't crossed paths with him since they were children? If he's in her social circle then why don't they know each other better? If he isn't, why are they both at dinner with the same group of friends? 

But none of that matters because Colin Firth has kind eyes, and it's ridiculous how little he has to do in order for me to love him. 


Who knows really. Image: Stan. 

Mmm yes. Image: Stan. 


He bumbles through an incoherent but strangely romantic explanation of why he actually likes Bridget, very much, just as she is and the bar is low but he's just sailed straight over it. 

Mark becomes even hotter when it turns out he's defending a high-profile client and secures Bridget an exclusive interview with them. 

Then, as is essential for plot purposes, he turns up unannounced at her home (how does he know her address) and helps her cook a terrible meal for her friends. 

It's important to note that in addition to his kind eyes, Mark also has a kind smile. 

In the category of: Most Charismatic Actor from a 2001 Rom-Com. Image: Stan. 


But everyone shut up because Daniel's here and yeah he and Mark are physically fighting over Bridget. They're uncoordinated. The street seems slippery. They're far too handsome and someone needs to politely remind them both to avoid each other's faces. 

Bridget's upset when Mark lands the final punch because isn't it Daniel who has a good reason to hate Mark? but for goodness sake Bridget. What part of 'Daniel is a dirty dog' do you not understand. 

She ends up rejecting them both, leaving her sad and alone again with a worrying dependence on alcohol. 


Idk this situation looks lovely tbh. Image: Stan.

But there's a twist because what kind of rom com would leave us with a single woman in her 30s? This isn't a horror movie. 

On Christmas Day, Bridget's mother casually mentions the time Mark's best friend (AKA Daniel) ran off with his wife and THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.



Bridget tries to win Mark back, but he's moving to America with Natasha which people are always doing in British movies. 

A few days later, Bridget's friends surprise her with an impromptu trip to Paris. But just as she's leaving, a strange man, who she's now had a total of ~8 (very brief) conversations with, turns up. Mark didn't go to America. Because they never do. Especially not with Natasha (ew have you seen her impeccable grooming).

Bridget ABANDONS the Paris trip for a man who, while gorgeous, has revealed himself to be a) violent and b) quite rude. 

Of course, as she's putting on sexy undies, he comes across her old diary, which describes him as "unpleasant and dull," and reflects, "no wonder his clever wife left him". 

Mark leaves the apartment, and Bridget chases him wearing no pants. A person on the street yells out, "CRAZY GIRL," and in his defence *gestures to entire film*.

The man has a point. Image: Stan. 


He was obviously just buying her a new diary, and the film ends with the two of them kissing in the middle of a snowstorm while she gets frostbite on her clit. 

It's just like a fairytale. Bridget has found a man who loves her just as she is, even though she's old (she's 32) and fat (she's not, and it would be fine if she was). 

Don't worry ladies – there's hope for us all. 

For more from Clare Stephens, you can follow her on Instagram. You can also listen to her comedy podcast Cancelled on Apple or Spotify

Image: Mamamia. 

This article was originally published in April 2023 and has since been updated.

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