18 Of Our Favorite Hot Messes In Movies

Fifteen years ago today, the cinematic version of Bridget Jones entered our lives in Bridget Jones's Diary. And she was a mess. A hot mess, you might say.

That term wasn't added to the online version of The Oxford Dictionaries until 2014, but you could have easily placed a picture of Bridget next to it. Oxford defines "hot mess" as "a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, especially one that is a source of peculiar fascination." Bridget smokes too many cigarettes, drinks too much, says the wrong thing constantly, has terrible karaoke skills, and gets involved with "fuckwits." (Her words. Not mine.) So, yeah, she fits the bill. And we love her. We love her so much that she's getting a third movie, Bridget Jones's Baby, coming out this fall.

But she is not alone in the annals of movie history. Hot messes have been around since before anyone used the phrase in this context. In our book, she's a complicated woman who sometimes indulges to excess, leaving her life a bit in shambles. In some cases she's vindictive, in others she's unapologetic, and in other's she's desperately trying to pull her life together. There's something alluring about her. It can be that she's ultimately sympathetic. It can also be that she's physically, well, hot.

Labeling a woman a "hot mess" does not come without baggage. It can be reductive. And, unfortunately, these characters are largely Caucasian. In Hollywood, being messy but endearing is a luxury often reserved for a privileged class. (For more on this, read Eileen G'Sell's essay in Salon.)

Here, however, we survey some of our favorite hot messes to grace the big screen.