10 Best Bridget Jones’s Diary Moments

When a sarcastic Renée Zellweger, suave Hugh Grant, and swoon-worthy Colin Firth collide in front of a Christmas backdrop with an upbeat Motown soundtrack, it’s guaranteed to be a hit. Over 20 years ago, the clumsy, boozy, charming, clever Bridget Jones waltzed off the page and onto the screen, cementing herself in the pantheon of beloved rom-com leading ladies in the process. Based on the novel by Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) follows a 30-something singleton (Zellweger) who starts a diary to chronicle her goals for self-improvement. Her plans are derailed, however, when she becomes entangled in a messy love triangle with former best mates Mark Darcy (Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Grant), the latter of whom also happens to be her boss. Funny, relatable, and cathartic, the film captures the complexities of human relationships through the eyes of an imperfect, authentic, lovable modern woman.

Grab a hot cup of tea (or a bottle of vodka) and join us with this Movie List from The Film Magazine as we look back at this staple of British cinema’s most cringe-worthy, jaw-dropping, and heartwarming scenes. These are the 10 Best Bridget Jones’s Diary Moments.

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10. Introducing Mark’s Christmas Jumper

Family gatherings are uncomfortable enough without your mother trying to set you up with a divorcé in her sitting room while you’re wearing a floral waistcoat she laid out for you. Unfortunately, this is exactly how Bridget first meets Mark.

At Christmastime, Bridget visits her parents, Colin (Jim Broadbent) and Pamela (Gemma Jones), at their yearly turkey curry buffet hosting all their closest friends and neighbours. Her father warns her that her mum is playing matchmaker when Pamela suddenly swoops in to usher her over to Mark, a recently divorced barrister. Given her mother’s track record, Bridget is convinced that he’ll be a ‘bushy-haired, middle-aged bore’ and is pleasantly surprised when she first sees his kind eyes and dimpled chin. But her spirits fall when she casts a glance at his tacky Christmas reindeer jumper.

Mark’s jumper is iconic and a lasting image from the film. It instantly defines his character as a bit stiff and awkward while also not being too impressed with himself. We get our first glimpse of Bridget’s nervous oversharing too, as she resolves to quit smoking and drinking while still holding a cigarette and mimosa. This moment is funny and cringey, and quickly sets up their opposites-attract character dynamic.

9. Blue Soup for Bridget’s Birthday

Bridget is always making a mess of things, so it comes as no surprise that she’s a mess in the kitchen as well. As she struggles to cook a three-course feast for her birthday dinner, Mark suddenly stops by her flat. This moment is a complete 180 from the last scene as she is genuinely pleased to see him and they share a smile. Upstairs, he inspects her cluttered stovetop, and a cut to a closeup reveals that she has in fact prepared blue soup (thanks to the bright blue string she used to tie some celery and leek together). Mark pours them each a glass of wine, takes off his jacket, and saves the day by making omelettes.

This is a sweet moment when Bridget sets aside her judgements, Mark lets down his stiff exterior, and we get to see the real chemistry between them. They work well together, sharing a drink, a laugh, and an inside joke, revealing that they were actually suppressing their feelings for one another all along. Finally, when Bridget’s friends arrive for dinner, the camera cuts to Mark subtly adjusting his tie. This small gesture reveals so much about his character and that he cares about making a good first impression with her friends. They, in turn, are delighted to meet him, though his impression is a bit overshadowed by their effort to gulp down Bridget’s blue soup.

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