Dinner at the Fifth Floor Cafe in Harvey Nichols followed by a stay at The Royal Garden Hotel and lunch with friends at The Rosewood the next day, is my kind of London break thank you very much, and it’s just what I needed after a week of playing nurse to my entire family who were struck down by another dreaded sickness bug, last week.
I got it too of course, but mama (annoyingly, in this instance) recovered the quickest so was on Head Nurse duties all week, which meant sharing a bed with little people whom despite being ill, managed to kick me repeatedly for the duration, all night, every night. Good times.
As you can imagine, an evening to myself with creative, funny women followed by an undisturbed night’s sleep at the Royal Garden, was just what the doctor ordered (literally), so off to the Big Smoke I went.
A long-time fan of Bridget Jones (who isn’t? I mean you literally cannot trust a woman who doesn’t relate and love Bridget, right?) I was utterly thrilled to be hanging out with the director of the first, and latest Bridget Jones movie, Sharon Maguire, over roast chicken and the most delicious sprouts I’d ever eaten. Truly. That’s Harvey Nics for you!
Together with Anna Whitehouse/ Mother Pukka, Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn aka Scummy Mummies, journo Kelly Allen, Caitlin and Amy from Red Consultancy and Keri-Ann from Universal, we drank, laughed, shared the hardship and hilarity of motherhood (those of us with babes) and basically had a ruddy great night. Amy the PR at Red had cleverly chosen Harvey Nichols’s Fifth Floor Cafe for our rendezvous as it’s where Bridget had had dinner with Tom in the first film and on the 16th January too (the same night as our meal and the launch of the digital download). It’s all kinds of prettiness there.
What made the dinner more poignant for me, personally, aside from mine and Bridget Jones’s mutual love of Spanx, was the fact I was a filmmaker and TV director pre-blogging (there are very few female directors out there, sadly) and one day, I hope, like Sharon, to direct a feature film. Gotta keep dreaming big huh and that’s been the dream forever?! The whole night was incredibly inspiring for me, a reminder to keep on pushing towards that very goal to make my own movie!
Funnily enough, like me, Sharon started out in TV docs, saying she read lots of books before cutting her teeth on her super successful first feature film Bridget Jones’s Diary, a comedy classic that caught the world’s hearts.
We discussed books I’d read during my directing MA at Goldsmiths’, University of London, Sharon also loved and connected over our shared love of filmmaking.
I have to also state that I loved how refreshingly candid, and hilariously funny Sharon was, revealing that Renée was so nervous about her British accent in the read through for the first film, that she literally whispered through it, and that Colin is an incredible human being.
Sharon told me that everyone feels like family when they come together to shoot a film (this one took 10 weeks) and that they moved tremendously quickly when they found a window where everyone was free simultaneously.
I adored her words that, ‘Making a movie is a bit like having a baby except it’s a lot more painful and there’s a lot more men involved’! I always felt maternal as a director, pre-kids, nurturing cast and crew whilst making your end product: your baby.
After directing the first hit film, Sharon went on to tell me that, ‘Coming back 15 years on was like getting in touch with your dysfunctional family again. Colin and Renée and all the characters in it, Sally, everybody, they’re all my dysfunctional family-a bit like getting together at Christmas, we all have the same stupid gags, we all bicker and love each other’.
I felt humbled hearing about their relationships and the experience they had making the movie together. It’s such a rare insight into the world of major movie stars and directors.
Sharon shared that she loves motivated comedy, not slapstick for the sake of it too and her passion for storytelling was utterly contagious. She also shared that she hoped schools would include filmmaking more within the curriculum so kids can become inspired to work in the industry, more.
I loved how interested she was in all of our work too, asking us lots of questions about blogging and vlogging, even asking to see a short film of mine I’ve since sent her. What a humble, wonderful woman.
Don’t miss my vlog of my time in London including the dinner with Sharon!
Now, I’d not caught the film in the cinema before meeting Sharon despite wanting to due to kids being ill and hashtag babysitter problems but I’ve watched it, since and can testify it’s a brilliantly hilarious and moving film I know you guys will LOVE!
If you’re unsure of the plot (no spoilers here, don’t worry) after one night stands with ex-boyfriend Mark (Firth) and a dashing eco-activist billionaire (Patrick Dempsey), single TV producer Bridget (Zellweger) discovers she’s pregnant but doesn’t know which man is the father! Hilarity ensues as she tries to discover who’s the Daddy in the third part of this laugh out loud and tear-jerking movie saga.
Directed by Sharon Maguire , the film is written by Helen Fielding, Emma Thompson, and Dan Mazer and was the biggest comedy film of 2016 in the UK and the third instalment of the +£600m international franchise.
It’s now available to download and available on DVD from 30th January.
Excitingly it’s the first time Bridget fans can watch the film since its cinematic release and I love that the instant download means you can keep the film on up to five different devices too. What’s more, fans of Bridget can also watch the download wherever and whenever – be it on your tablet during your commute to and from work, on your phone whilst in bed or in the comfort of your living room via your Smart TV.
Purchase the film below and excitingly I have 5 x £15 iTunes gift cards to giveaway so you can download the film for free if you win. Yay!
Enter via Rafflecopter below!
Ends 4th Feb 2017.