Helen Fielding (from the novel with the same title)
Working Title, Universal Pictures, Studiocanal, Miramax Films
“Bridget Jones’s Diary” is the anti-hero hymn of praise, to the hopelessly imperfect star. Bridget is a clumsy, overweight, thirty year-old smoker with a drink problem, an unexciting career and above all she’s single. But she’s also a bubbly, auto-ironic, romantic young woman with a deep desire to be loved. That’s the reason she was such a huge success with the public, both through Helen Fielding’s book (Helen Fielding also saw to the screenplay) and through the transposition onto the big screen.
The story begins with Bridget’s New Year Resolutions: to lose weight and to find a handsome and loyal man putting aside work maniacs, alcoholics and perverts. In reality, Bridget falls in love precisely with her boss, Daniel Cleaver (a fascinating rascal: Hugh Grant), who doesn’t however take their relationship seriously. On the other side, there’s Mark Darcy, more introvert and rigid than Daniel, but more sensitive and reliable. Bridget finds herself having to choose between the two…..
It’s an enjoyable film to pass a couple of hours in fun without too much concentration, with a particular involvement for women, who recognise in Bridget their own paranoia as far as their weight, their physical aspect and men are concerned.
The Italian edition, although not bad, is affected by several imperfections, both where the dubbing direction and the dialogue adaptation are concerned.
The voice distribution is good, with an excellent choice both for the male roles who have warm and enveloping voices and for that of Bridget, very feminine and bubbly. Carla Signoris’ recital, who interprets Bridget’s petulant and superficial mother, is perfect just like that of Georgia Lepore, in particular in the scene in which a crying Jude calls Bridget from her office toilets because of her love problems. Here however, end the points in favour of the film’s dubbing direction. In fact right from the beginning of the film we find mistakes, like not having dubbed the background buzz during the New Year’s Eve party organised by Bridget’s mother.
Furthermore, a lot of signs are missing, like the printed lines (excerpts from Bridget’s diary, her comments to certain situations, like the “fuuuuuuuck” when she shows herself up regarding F.R. Lewis with Daniel), or the sentences which were written on the neon lights at Piccadilly Circus. The scene in which Bridget walks along the road after having been with Daniel and behind her we read: “Date weds, something the something. Weight: 131 lb, have replaced food with sex, cigarettes: 22… and all post-coital” is very enjoyable. But the lines have not been subtitled and as a consequence the spectator who doesn’t know English completely loses the humour.
Also as far as the dialogues are concerned there are many imprecisions. Let’s begin with when Bridget says that the only man who personifies all the characteristics of what a man shouldn’t be is Daniel Cleaver. The original line is: «Unfortunately, he just happens to be my boss editor in chief Daniel Cleaver», adapted with «Sfortunatamente si dà il caso che la persona sia proprio il mio capo Daniel Cleaver» (unfortunately it just so happens that the person in question is my boss), but in this way the information that he’s the editor and that consequently they both work together in a publishing firm is lost.
The spectator knows that Daniel therefore is her boss but doesn’t know where or in what environment they work, only later will the spectator understand. A little further on, still in the office, Bridget talking about Mr. Fitzherbert, says: «Titspervert, more like», literally “pervertito delle tette” (pervert of tits). The line obviously makes sense not only due to its meaning but also because of the similarity between Fitzherbert and Titspervert. The Italian adaptation in “fissatette” maintains the meaning but eliminates any humour from the line.
Further on Bridget answers the telephone saying «Publicity», adapted with «Bridget Jones». Why? The Italian version makes us lose another bit of information, that Bridget works in the publicity section of a publishing house.
A few minutes later Bridget is, as usual, in a pub chatting with her friends and she introduces them to the spectator one-by-one. When she talks about her friend Shazzer she says: «Shazzer, Journalist. Likes to say “fuck” a lot», but in Italian we hear Sharon, not Shazzer. We ask ourselves if the dialogist copied the name wrongly or if Giuppy Izzo pronounced it wrongly. Because if there’s a logical reason for the voluntary change to the name then we don’t understand it.
At the end of the same evening, the friends go home by taxi and Bridget says that one of the advantages of being thirty is that you can hold your drink well. Precisely in that moment, getting out of the taxi, she trips on the pavement and falls to the ground, followed by her friends’ laughter and Shazzer saying: «Mind the step», obviously ironically referring to the famous line which is said in the London tube when you get up on the train and a speaker warns passengers to be careful of the space between the train and the platform.
In effect the line was difficult to render in Italian so it was decided to simplify it with an «Attenta a non cadere» (be careful not to fall), but in that way the gag was lost.
Furthermore, before meeting up with her mother Bridget quotes the famous incipit of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”: «It’s a truth universally acknowledged», adapted with «È una verità universalmente accettata» (it’s a truth universally accepted), but the official translation of the work is “È verità universalmente riconosciuta” (it is a truth universally acknowledged); here the error hits all Austen fans and not only, considering that we’re talking about a very well-known novel, but perhaps not so well-known to the adaptor.
In general, we don’t feel up to giving a great judgement to the Italian edition of the film. Although there aren’t as such mistakes which prevent the comprehension of the film on behalf of the average spectator, there are too many imprecisions which could have been avoided with a little more attention.
[original review in Italian by Alessandra Basile]