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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Bridget Jones, Austin Powers, and other movie characters who won’t die

I spent some of this weekend re-reading “One Day,” which comes out in theaters this Friday starring Anne Hathaway as a Brit, which brings us right back to the Great Bridget Jones Controversy of Ten Years Ago, which is approximately when Renee Zellweger was cast as the famed London singleton. Not much has changed in ten years, no? Apparently there are still no young actresses in England, so they still have to import them from America and teach them the accent. (There is, of course, Kate Winslet, but she was busy playing an American in “Mildred Pierce.”) You wonder what all those girls in British drama schools are thinking. Let’s hope they’re all brushing up on their American accents.
Anyway, “Bridget Jones” is back in the news, with a third installment reportedly in the works, in which Bridget and her beloved Mark Darcy have fertility problems, so she has to turn to the caddish but presumably fertile Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). No, I am not making this up; it’s right there in Entertainment Weekly. Let it be said that I am generally in favor of anything that brings more of Hugh-Grant-being-a-cad to screens (his first moment in the original “Bridget Jones,” as he steps off an elevator and coolly surveys his prey like a blazer-clad rattlesnake, is classic), but that this seems like a lousy idea.
Anyway. In the unending tale of Movie Characters Who Won’t Die, word comes today that a fourth Austin Powers movie is moving forward. Meanwhile, the Writer’s Guild is trying to shut down a stage musical version of “Bring It On,” seeking damages on behalf of the screenwriter of the 2000 movie (Jessica Bendinger); and The Weinstein Company has announced that it is looking for financing to help bring several of their movies to the Broadway stage, including “Chocolat” and “Cinema Paradiso.” Any original ideas out there lately? Maybe not.
Couldn’t find the Daniel Cleaver scene I mentioned earlier on YouTube, but this “Bridget Jones’ Diary” moment is almost as good. Note Grant’s wonderful reaction shots, and that Zellweger — despite the accent controversy — really is very, very funny.

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