Perhaps you have a friend that is a lonely, depressed, single woman. Or perhaps you are one. This week the local theater hopes to speak to you with the story of Bridget Jones, a woman fed up with her dissatisfactory love life.

Everyone can relate, to some extent, with Bridget's frustrations. So singles and couples alike are packing the cinemas to see Bridget Jones's Diary, making it the biggest romantic comedy of the year. Diary was a bestseller by British author Helen Fielding before it became a movie, and Bridget has become something of a national hero in England. Thus it was with some protest that the news came: Sharon Maguire would direct Renee Zellweger, an American, in the role of this courageous romantic adventurer.

Surprise. Critics—including Brits who treasure the book—are delighted with Zellweger's performance. Audiences are loving it. But reviewers in the religious media, while also impressed with much of the film, are arguing that Bridget's self-confident march into a life of hasty sex is not something to applaud. Perhaps dating is not the cure-all for loneliness and insecurity.

In discussing the film on the OnFilm e-mail discussion list, Peter Chattaway observes that the movie deteriorates into a familiar "ping pong game"—which guy will Bridget end up with? "Thing is," he writes, "neither of the men she's attracted to is exactly unattached. I find it hard, personally, to root for Bridget's relationship with the 'good' guy if it means splitting up his relationship with another woman." The Phantom Tollbooth's J. Robert Parks writes, "The movie has no room for the possibility that Bridget might not need a husband. In that sense, the film fits into the post-feminist climate dominating Hollywood today. Bridget is a ...

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