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bridget jones narrative and conventions

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Introduction

Macro analysis Bridget Jones's Diary Bridget Jones's Diary (Sharon Maguire, 2001) was originally a novel by Helen Fielding and became an extremely successful film when it was released as a romantic comedy. The film made around �41 million in the UK alone. The storyline is funny, romantic and also safe, in that the audience knows that there will be a happy ending. From pre-release advertising and publicity, audiences could anticipate that the film would fit their expectations of the romantic comedy genre. Knowledge of the genre helps people know what to expect from a film and ensures that they will enjoy a film which they connect with examples of the genre enjoyed in the past. In all films the story - the narrative - is important and so the way the story is told must be effective in its manipulation and presentation of characters and events. The audience needs to be able to understand the story. The narrative offers meanings connected to character actions and motivations. I have chosen to analyse the last 15 minutes of the film, where the two main characters come together and resolve their differences. Bridget Jones's Diary was released with a target audience of women in mind. ...read more.

Middle

This hostility remains until the end of the narrative. The audience knows that the couple will eventually be together, but tension and interest are sustained as the pair's hurdles are overcome. The two characters are very different; Mark is a highly paid barrister and Bridget has a relatively unprestigious job in a large publishing house. This social and economic divide constructs one of the hurdles for the couple and intrigues the audience as to how the divide will be overcome. Bridget changes as she tries to make herself more attractive to the opposite sex. Her attempts initially 'net' Daniel, but he proves himself unworthy of her affection. The audience follows Bridget's shifts from hope to depression and back again, to an ending with Mark and hope for the future. The couple overcome their differences, learn something about themselves along the way and provide a textbook 'romcom' ending. Mark has aborted his move to America and has come back for Bridget. The series of trials which the protagonists within romantic comedies must undergo is ended successfully when he returns. Perhaps the most prominent of all romcom conventions is that the couple unite in the end, providing the viewer with met expectations of the genre and a sense of satisfaction and safety. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her recognisable world is shattered by the untrustworthy Daniel, who represents a disruptive element, but is reordered by the reliable and caring Mark. A cause-and-effect model can be used to discuss how narrative works in this film. Bridget and Mark's initial conversation at the beginning of the film acts to separate the characters through a series of misunderstandings. This is necessary within the romantic comedy genre, because it provides the first of the hurdles which must be overcome. We see the consequences of each of Bridget's interactions with other characters and use our knowledge of romantic comedy conventions to predict that, although her life may be unfulfilled for a large portion of the narrative, happy resolution will come. Bridget Jones's Diary is, therefore, typical of the romantic comedy genre. It uses the conventions an audience expects from this genre to create narrative meaning and engage the audience in the creation of the protagonists' relationship. Narrative conventions are used to reinforce our recognition of genre and edit Bridget's life experiences so that we are presented with events that we see as relevant to the genre. As a reworking of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones's Diary is a modern-day comedy of manners. Elizabeth and Darcy have become Bridget and Mark, but modern audiences have the same desire: that the couple come together in the end. (1,269 words) ...read more.

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