Helen Fielding’s heroine in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget Jones is an every woman. Bridget is on the wrong side of 30, single, smokes and drinks too much, flirts with her boss and is far from modelesque.
Published in 1996 and made into a movie in 2001, Bridget makes the rest of us feel better about our lives.
I’ve seen the movie several times over the past 13 years. I just finished the book.
I enjoyed the book, but as often happens when books are made into movies, changes are made to either characters or plot. Pulling from Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, Fielding has written a very funny and realistic picture of what it is to be a modern single female adult.
The movie is extremely funny. Surprisingly, Renee Zellweger, an American actress, fits in brilliantly with the English cast. Whomever the casting director was for this movie, they must have had the Janeite community in mind. Colin Firth (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice 1995), Hugh Grant (Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility 1995), Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility 1995), and Embeth Davidtz (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park 1999) were all perfectly cast.
While I recommend the book, the movie is that much better.
P.S. I’m adding the fight scene, well, just because Darcy never had the chance to properly clock Wickham in the face in Pride and Prejudice doesn’t mean he can’t do it in Bridget Jones Diary.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mansfield Park and it’s heroine, Fanny Price has been debated time again since it’s initial publishing 2o0 years ago. It is also universally acknowledged that any film adaptation of this novel will bring about the same heated debate.
I have not seen the 1983 Mansfield Park, but from what I have heard, it is the best adaptation. But I have seen both the 1999 and 2007 adaptions and I hope to give each a fair shake, to determine which is the better adaptation.
Cast: Frances O’Connor (Fanny), Johnny Lee Miller (Edmund), Sir Harold Pinter (Sir Thomas), Embeth Davidtz (Mary Crawford) and Alessandro Nivolo (Henry Crawford).
Pros: Director and screenwriter Patricia Rozema weaves throughout the film Fanny’s strength and innate sense of self, especially in the face of overwhelming odds against her. Rozema also inserts Austen’s experiences and early writings, revealing interesting facets of Fanny’s character.
Cons: The actors who were supposed to be playing the young people in the film were 30 ish and above. William, Fanny’s adored big brother, and The Crawford’s sister and brother in law are nowhere to be found.
Cast: Billie Piper (Fanny), Blake Ritson (Edmund), Douglas Hodge (Sir Thomas), Hayley Atwell (Mary Crawford) and Joseph Beattie (Henry Crawford).
Pros: The actors playing the young people are all age appropriate, each approximately 25 ish, closer in age to their characters than their counterparts in the 1999 movie. William is included in this adaption.
Cons: Billie Piper. She is a very good actress, but not suited for this part. Fanny in this adaptation is too much of a tomboy. The fact that the hair and makeup people did not take a few minutes to make sure that her hair color and eyebrows matched just boggles my mind. Nor did the costume department make sure that she had the appropriate bonnet and gloves while outside. What female in Regency England had naturally brown eyebrows and blonde hair? Fanny maybe the impoverished niece reliant on her uncle’s support, but even she would know what to wear when going outside. And once again the Crawford sister and brother in law are nowhere to be found.