11 Reasons Why Daniel Cleaver Is The Worst
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11 Reasons Why Daniel Cleaver Is The Worst

Let's be real; the only good thing about this Bridget Jones suitor is his flat.

11 Reasons Why Daniel Cleaver Is The Worst

I love “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” It is the chicken noodle soup movie that I watch when I’m sad, otherwise upset, or have just epically failed at something. I have seen it at least 11 times in the last six months.

It is acted and directed brilliantly. Bridget is one of Renee Zellweger’s masterpiece characters; every reaction she has is authentically Bridget. Because of this and the humanity that the script has given her, Bridget is a highly relatable character, if a bit stereotypical. The other actors do a wonderful job as well. The reactions that they have to each other are every bit as telling as their lines.

Perhaps because of how well Hugh Grant plays the role, the worst part about the movie is Daniel Cleaver, the pinnacle horror of all office romances.

You don't say.

From the beginning, Bridget knows that she should not date him. In her own words, he is an “alcoholic, workaholic, peeping-tom, megalomaniac, emotional f***wit and pervert.”

Apparently not.

That’s quite a laundry list of bad things, and he really is exactly that awful. Here are just a few reasons why.

1. Cleaver waits until he has dirt on Bridget to start flirting with her.

"Now that she's scared as arse about her job, I will commence with getting into her pants" --Daniel Cleaver, probably.

He’s likely been interested in her for a while, but he waits until he catches her lying about having a personal phone conversation at work to begin flirting. This way, if she wants to file a report about his ridiculously inappropriate email regarding her "nonexistent skirt," he can threaten to fire her in order to prevent a sexual harassment claim.

The sad thing is, the office would likely side with him if she did file the report.

2. His way of starting their relationship is creepy.

"You appear to have forgotten your skirt."
You appear to have forgotten your manners.

Bridget liked this, I grant you. But randomly emailing one of your employees to comment on the status of her clothing is both inappropriate and really creepy. What’s wrong with having an actual conversation first (in which you do not threaten her job in any way) and then sending racy emails that you actually know she'd be into?

3. He lies to Bridget about Mark.

"I made the somewhat catastrophic mistake of introducing him to my fiancee."
At least he didn't make the absolutely catastrophic mistake of dating you.

I don’t blame him for not wanting to tell Bridget that he slept with his best friend’s wife, especially as he does not want a serious relationship with her. However, deciding to turn it on Mark is much worse than pretending it never happened. First, it is a shot at Mark’s reputation. Cleaver already had a hand in breaking up Mark's marriage. Why does he need to hurt him more? Second, he says that he was engaged to someone. This is probably a slimy move to further convince Bridget to sleep with him. Not only does it sell the sympathy card, but it also suggests that he might want to marry her one day. (He doesn't.)

4. Cleaver is mean about his commitment issues.

"Do you think people will notice...us working together, sleeping together?"
"Slow down. It started and Tuesday and now it's Thursday. That's not exactly a long-term commitment, now, is it?"

Bridget is not asking him to be her boyfriend or to hold her hand by the water-cooler. All she wants to know is if people will notice that they have had sex. He could have said that they would handle it professionally, or something, but instead he puts her in her place to make sure that she knows that this sex (and her) means so little that no one will notice a change in their relationship. It is OK to have commitment issues, but it is not OK to mistreat others.

5. Cleaver insults Bridget’s work.

He often feeds into her insecurities so that he can keep her down, and thus willing to have sex with him without the relationship discussion.

Apparently, their publishing company is in trouble. Cleaver uses this as an excuse to leave their mini-break early. Bridget says that she doesn’t know what’s so important that he would leave early (he wants to cheat on her) he says that she wouldn’t know, because she just “swans in” in her “short skirt” and “sexy see-through blouse” and “fannies about with the press releases.” (Fanny is British slang for vagina, by the way.) Clearly, he does not value her for anything beyond sex and a good time.

6. He leaves Bridget to go to the theme party alone

She had to face Uncle Geoffrey's comments about her lack of husband and his groping on her own--while dressed as a sexy bunny.

Cleaver has to know about Uncle Geoffrey. Even if he doesn't, how hard would it have been for him to go to the party as he promised and break it off with her after? He may be unable to love anyone in a healthy way, but that is no excuse for being a jerk and subjecting her to humiliation among her parents's friends just so that he can have sex with an American woman sooner.

7. He actively tries to hurt Bridget after they break up.

"I thought you said she was thin."
I thought mistresses were supposed to be better at hiding, Lara.

When Bridget comes back to work after catching Cleaver cheating on her, she has to go in his office to give him a progress report. Instead of letting her do her job, then apologizing or acting normally afterward, he interrupts her to tell her that she’s too old for him, that she is not extraordinary enough for him, and that she is not confident enough for him. He then goes on to say that he was intending to leave her for Lara the entire time and that they are now engaged. He does all of this under the guise of "apologizing" and "trying to make things work." How slimy can you get?

8. He tries to trap Bridget in her job.

Me, too, Bridge. Me, too.

After the engagement debacle, Bridget decides to find a job in television to get away from Cleaver. She tells him so, and he does not like it. He tries to get her to stay, first by telling her that her contract says that she must give six weeks’ notice. When that does not work, and she has (intelligently) made their conversation public, he tells her that he has been "overlooked for personal reasons," implying that if she stays she will get a promotion. What a slimeball.

9. He comes back to Bridget because he is jealous of Mark.

Yes. Yes he is.

First, he drunkenly crashes her birthday dinner. Then, he says that he “thought she’d be alone” (on her birthday?!) to pick at her confidence, because he knows she is sensitive about being single. Finally, we find out that he has been watching her show and listening to the “intelligent things” she says. Bridget has only been on television twice. Once, for the Lewisham Fire Department, in which she says very little. Her second time aired earlier that day, in which she interviewed Kafir Aghani, Eleanor Heaney, and Mark Darcy. Bridget and Mark share a romantic glance on air and, surprise of all surprises, Cleaver shows up drunk to win her back. How long would it be until he cheated on her again, I wonder?

10. He hits Mark from behind with a trash can lid during their fight.

What's a sucker punch between enemies?

How slimy can you get? You were supposed to be fighting with your body, Cleave, not metal. Yeah, Mark sucker punches him, but when he said that he had enough and wanted to stop, Mark started to walk away. That could have been the end of it. Cleaver did not have to escalate it, especially not with something that could have permanently injured Mark. The worst part about it is that he knows he is the wrong. If he really wanted to avoid being punched, he could have apologized. For, you know, having sex with Mark's wife and lying to Bridget about it.

11. When all else fails, he tries to guilt Bridget back into a relationship with him.

Make what? A lie sound truthful?

Not only does that put the responsibility on her when he inevitably cheats on her again, but it also suggests that she should fix him. It is no one's responsibility to fix you, Cleave, but yours. Thankfully, this leads to a great, soul satisfying moment wherein Bridget recognizes that she deserves more than what he will give her and walks away.

Luckily, Bridget eventually learns that she can never trust Daniel Cleaver again (granted, it takes another movie); however, if she had listened to her New Year's Resolutions, she could have saved herself a lot of heartache and gotten here a bit faster:

Because who doesn't want to kiss a decent, handsome Englishman on the street in their underwear?

Probably many people.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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