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Girl Afraid

Renée Zellweger nervously Joneses for romance.

For all that, the weirdest thing about this wispy feature is that it attracted so many big-league players. In addition to having on the crew such luminaries as Dryburgh (who lensed The Piano), Martin Walsh (who edited Hilary and Jackie), and Rachel Fleming (who designed costumes for The Beach), the movie includes a couple of noteworthy cameos. Salman Rushdie's presence at a publisher's fete is quite amusing, if not too surprising (he enthusiastically endorsed Fielding's book), and Jeffrey Archer shows up as well.

Renée Zellweger finds love slippery in Bridget Jones's Diary.
Renée Zellweger finds love slippery in Bridget Jones's Diary.

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In small roles as Bridget's compassionate friends, we also get Shirley Henderson (Wonderland), Sally Phillips (the receptionist from I'm Alan Partridge) and James Callis (TV's Jason and the Argonauts) as -- what else? -- the extremely obligatory gay sidekick. Toss in Embeth Davidtz as a nasty American competitor for Daniel's non-existent affections, plus a gaggle of snide couples to mock our heroine's own unexamined terror of commitment, and Bridget Jones adds up to little more than too many weddings and not nearly enough funerals.

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