Bridget Jones's Diary (film) released
Bridget Jones's Diary is a 2001 British romantic comedy film, based on the novel of the same name written by Helen Fielding.
The adaptation starred Renée Zellweger as Bridget, Hugh Grant as the caddish Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth as Bridget's "true love" Mark Darcy. A sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was released in 2004.
Before the film came out a considerable amount of controversy surrounded the casting of the American Zellweger as what some saw as a quintessentially British heroine. However, her performance is widely considered to be of a high standard, including her English accent.
Helen Fielding has stated in many interviews that her novel was based upon both Jane Austen's work Pride and Prejudice and the popular 1995 BBC adaptation, Pride and Prejudice. This was also reflected in the decision to cast Colin Firth as Darcy, since he played the 'real' Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. This is not the film's only connection to that serial – the screenplay was co-written by Andrew Davies, who had written the adaptation of Austen's novel for the BBC. Another co-writer was Richard Curtis, and there are elements of Four Weddings and a Funeral and even more so of Notting Hill.
The director of the film, Sharon Maguire, is one of Fielding's friends whom the character of "Shazzer" was reportedly based on. In the film "Shazzer" was played by Sally Phillips, who originally auditioned for the role of Bridget, but was not considered a big enough name for the part. Kate Winslet also auditioned for the part and was almost considered for it, but eventually was dismissed since she was too young (25 at the time the auditions took place) to play Bridget.
Renee Zellweger was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film.