Here's a bit of a revelation: Many Japanese women secretly prefer Renee Zellweger over Scarlett Johansson as their favorite Hollywood actress. The women I've talked to say "Sukajo," as Johansson is called over here, is too classy, flashy and altogether inaccessible, whereas Zellweger is endearingly vulnerable.

They're talking specifically about Zellweger in the "Bridget Jones" trilogy, and their love for her has been felt at the box office. The title character has many fans here, and it's no wonder distribution companies have poured much thought into coming up with workable, attractive Japanese titles for the franchise.

The first, 「ブリジット・ジョーンズの日記」 (Burijitto Jōnzu no Nikki, "Bridget Jones's Diary"), was a straightforward translation, but the sequel, "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," became 「ブリジット・ジョーンズの日記 きれそうなわたしの12か月」 (Kiresō na Watashi no Jyūni-kagetsu, "For 12 Months I Nearly Lost It"). Last year we got the final installment, in which Bridget's pregnancy was the focal point: "Bridget Jones's Baby." The Japanese title was 「ブリジット・ジョーンズの日記 ダメな私の最後のモテ期」 (Dame na Watashi no Saigo no Moteki, "It's the Last Chance for Little Dumb Me"). It's a title that goes straight to the hearts of Japan's ever-growing populace of middle-aged singles. Everyone wants that モテ期 (moteki, a certain period where you're wildly popular in the dating market) to happen first, before thinking about commitment and procreation.