WHILE A REVIEW of anything B.J.-related cries out for extensive use of cute abbreviations, a Dear Diary format, and exact tabulations of drinks, smokes, and fattening foods consumed while viewing, I'll restrain myself. But you must be told about the DVD bonus "featurette" filled with gratuitous shots of dreamy Hugh Grant in a wet, barely there T-shirt. There are also several funny additional scenes, including one of those hate-to-love-'em, where- are-they-now? closing credit sequences showing Grant's caddish character miserable with a series of fuck-witted twits and Bridget's friends still wallowing in single town.
Helen Fielding started the B.J. craze with a newspaper column, later turned into the best-selling 1998 book. In a Q&A with director Sharon Macguire, the two women discuss the outrage that swept London when a slim Texan (!) was cast as beloved Bridget. We also learn how Ren饠Zellweger duly apprenticed in the book trade while refining a (barely) credible English accent.
As you'll recall, in a not-subtle Jane Austen twist, our heroine's Mr. Right turns to be the doltish but kind Colin Firth instead of the amusingly dissolute Grant. There's something annoying, depressing even, about the boring guy finishing first, but this isn't a film to think hard about. Instead, enjoy Zellweger's (very) slightly chubby self stumbling and babbling through various mishaps and misadventures.
Audrey Van Buskirk
ADVENTURES of a different kind figure in The Mummy Returns, a surprise hit here packaged as a grandiosely titled "collector's edition" containing special-effects secrets and hidden previews of the forthcoming spin-off The Scorpion King. One Night at McCool's may appeal to Liv Tyler fans but offers no extras. Parents take note that Cats & Dogs is out Oct. 16 for $26.98—cheaper than a baby-sitter. Definitely not for the kids is the erotic Center of the World, best appreciated now as a dot-com cultural artifact. A special edition of Fiddler on the Roof features commentary by Topol and director Norman Jewison—plus a deleted song by Paul Michael Glaser (a.k.a. Starsky of Starsky and Hutch).