British Romance ComedyGenerally, with a few exceptions, in British cinemas, the films are either American orBritish. Despite this, the films do have many differences, which I think are important tothink about when making a film opening. Bridget Jones‟ Diary is a great example ofBritish comedy.Typical codes and conventions of British comedy that BJD follows• Sarcasm/irony (the jokes are usually made at the expense of someone or will often involve being sarcastic- in BJD her voice over narrates the sarcasm)• Supports the underdog- pulls down the authority (Bridget Jones is hardly the typical heroin- she‟s slightly over weight, average job, smokes and drinks- not a good role model. Yet in British films we are made to feel sympathy for the characters, and therefore we want to support her)• Starts gloomy and eventually ends happily (takes the viewers through a journey, and follows the character through their standard lives, then an event happens, and we watch them solve this till everything is back to normal, and better than the beginning)• Verbal wit over slapstick (Because the humour is very sarcastic this means that a lot of the jokes are verbal, and it is less likely to see physical slapstick humour, because this doesn‟t necessarily involve the audience in why its funny. When the audience hear a joke and understand it, it rewards them and gives them a sense of pleasure, but it doesn‟t give you much pleasure on your part to laugh at someone making a fool of themselves.)
Introduction• Typical British-romance comedy- mainly British cast, British director, setting, comedy.• Bridget is an average women, living in London who works for a publishing company. For her new years resolution she decides to take control of her life, stop smoking, drinking, lose weight, and get a man. The film is about her decisions and consequences of sleeping with her boss, quitting and her quest to find love.• Cast of Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Although Renee Zellweger isn‟t British, she plays Bridget as very English.
The Opening• Narration We hear Bridget‟s thoughts and commentary on the events that are happening, this often involves verbal wit, and we can laugh at what she‟s thinking, and not what she‟s necessarily saying. This also combines with the fact is Bridget Jones‟ Diary- meaning that we hear what you might right down in a diary- personal thoughts.• “Turkey-Curry buffet” An unusual combination shows her mothers apparent „madness‟ and the sort of life Bridget leads.• “Gherkin was the height of sophistication” Shows that the mother may be a fair bit older than Bridget, doesn‟t get out much, and still lives in the „old- days‟ in Bridget‟s opinion.• Mark Darcy Mr Darcy is from Pride and Prejudice- foreshadowing the coming story line, and the complications in front of them, but that they will eventually be together. Also Pride and Prejudice is a famous love story which will appeal to the target audience of teenage girls and middle aged women.• “Great, I was wearing a carpet.” Verbal wit in the narration, it‟s funny because the audience are probably thinking it, and then Bridget says it, which connects the audience, as they are both thinking the same thing.
• Different character archetypes These are evident in every film, however they are exaggerated in comedies to make it funnier and more evident which persons role is in the film. Comedies tend not to be mysterious as this will just confuse the audience, their role is to connect with the audience and make them laugh, not necessarily „hook‟ them to make them watch the film like they do in dramas.• “How‟s your love life?” This shows the informality, and links with the fact that Bridget is obviously made uncomfortable by her „Uncle‟. Also presents the theme of the film and establishes it as a Romance comedy.• “Mysterious Mr Right I‟d been waiting my whole life to meet” Shows that she hasn‟t had any long term relationships, but is eager to have one. It also shows that she does believe in love, and is just waiting for it. This can connect the audience because the majority will be girls who are thinking the same thing- When will I meet my Mr Right?