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Spc 3301 - Bridget Jones Movie Essay

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Bridget Jones Diary Movie Essay

SPC 3301

Evangely Santiago



This paper explores and in depth analysis on the interpersonal communication that takes in place in the Bridget Jones Diary movie. The protagonist’s character development is evident in her relationships with two different men. This essay will examine Bridget’s communication competence, how she reacts in situations, and why she does what she does in correlation to the information in the textbook Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others by Steven A. Beebe, Susan J. Beebe, and Mark V. Redmond.

Bridget Jones’s Communication Competence

It is often believed by many people that communication skills are just something you are born with, that you either have it or you don’t. While some people are born being naturally athletic, have a keen eye for designing, or have a natural ability to solve math equations, there are others who are effortlessly good at communicating with others. A person is a great communicator when they are effective and their messages are interpreted as intended. As an aftercare counselor, when I tell explain to a student why he shouldn’t be throwing sticks, and he stops doing so immediately, I know that I have communicated effectively, therefore I was a competent communicator in that moment.

Bridget Jones is a 30 year old British woman struggling to accept herself for who she is, dealing with the pressure from her family and friends to get married, and find the person who will love her and be able to fill that empty void in her life. She faces the high and lows of love during her romantic relationships with Mark Darcy, her childhood friend, and Daniel Cleaver, her boss, before realizing Mr. Right will want her for being exactly the way she is.

Throughout the movie, I played close attention to how Bridget Jones expressed communication competence in the different situations she encountered. For the most part, it was hard for her to express her thoughts and desires to the two men because she did not actually know what she wanted. She did not have much communication appropriateness either. According to our text, that is when a communicator considers the time, place, and overall context of the message and is sensitive to the feelings and attitudes of the listener. From the beginning of the movie, I noticed she lacked communication appropriateness with how she behaved when she was meeting Mark Darcy for the first time at the Christmas party. Of course, she did not want to be set up with him in the first place by her mother, but introducing yourself as a plain drinker and smoker is not suitable with the occasion taking place. Another example of this was when she began to dress provocatively with short miniskirts and practically see-through shirts that would expose her bra to work, so that her boss, Daniel Cleaver, would notice her. She later began to exchange sexual emails with him during work hours. Cleaver did not object to her efforts, but in a real life scenario doing things like that would more than likely get you fired.

Mark Darcy’s Motivated Behavior

Critics have argued that the end of Bridget Jones’s Diary feels rushed, and that the “heroic” behavior of Mark Darcy is not fully motivated in the novel. I somewhat agree with this opinion. When Darcy goes to change into clothing she feels more confident in, she tells him to keep himself entertained in the meantime with the magazines she owns. That is when he lifts up one of the magazines, exposing Bridget’s diary opened to a page where she wrote all her negative thoughts about him. By the time Bridget comes back, she sees Mark leaves after reading what was said about him in the diary. She proceeds to run after him without being fully dressed and Mark is shown leaving a store with a new diary to give to her symbolizing a new beginning. Of course, this leads to them kissing, and a happily ever after cliché. It was almost as if the movie producers wanted an easy way out for a quick ending to the emotional rollercoaster romance between Bridget and Mark. Though they were rushed, I do believe Mark Darcy’s actions were motivated. In the text, motivation is defined as an internal state of readiness to respond something. Mark obviously had strong feelings for her, so I believe what he did was driven by those emotions. Those sorts of automatic gestures would probably not be believable in the real world, but in movies anything can happen.

Bridget Jones’s Needs

        According to social psychologist Will Schutz, our concept of who we are , coupled with our need to interact with others, profoundly influences how we communicate with others. He labels our three basic needs as: need for control, need for inclusion, and and need of affection. Our need for control is how much influences we desire to have over others and ourselves and how willing we are to let others control. Many times, Bridget felt she had no control over the “single” phase she seemed to be stuck in. She was not willing to let her mother even help her when she was first introduced to Mark Darcy. Her diary was a way of her feeling like she was in control of the “spinster stage” she wanted to so desperately get out of. Like most people, Bridget wanted to be included in the societal standard of being married by 30. She constantly feels pressure from those around her, and wants nothing more than to find Mr. Right. Bridget begins trying to better herself and starts losing weight believing that if she is more beautiful, then men will want her. She desires to be loved and believed Daniel Cleaver was the man of her dreams when he began giving her the attention and affection she yearned for.

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