Helen Fielding’s iconic modern single woman, Bridget Jones, is an every woman. She is in her 30’s, curvaceous, smokes too much, drinks too much and spends too much time thinking about her boss, Daniel Cleaver. She is also funny, engaging, warm, flawed and real. Making her debut in 1995 in a newspaper column, Bridget has become the voice for the average woman who is simply trying to figure out what she wants from her life and who she wants to spend it with.
The latest story in Bridget’s crazy life is Bridget Jones’s Baby. Published last year, Bridget is at a major crossroads. After sleeping with both of her ex’s (Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy), she finds herself pregnant, with both men angling to be both the baby’s father and her future partner. Can Bridget choose which man she wants to be with and more importantly, which man is her child’s father?
The first thing that came to mind when I started reading the book was the movie that was released last year. There were changes between the book and the movie, which I will not spoil. However, I will say that it took me a while to get into the book. As much as I wish I could say that I loved it, I can’t. It’s not the best book I’ve read, but it’s not the worst either.
Bridget Jones is the iconic single woman. She first appeared in 1995 in a newspaper column and then a book written by Helen Fielding. In 2001, movie audiences were introduced to the film version of Bridget in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001).
Fifteen years later, Bridget (Renee Zellweger) has returned to the screen in Bridget Jones’s Baby. The film starts on the eve of Bridget’s 43rd birthday. Her friends have all abandoned the single life for the traditional life of marriage and children. Encouraged by a colleague to spend the weekend at a music festival, Bridget has a one night stand Jack (Patrick Dempsey), an American whose dating website has become very successful. A week later, she hooks up with her ex, Mark (Colin Firth) at the christening of a child of a mutual friend. Bridget soon finds herself pregnant, but the question is, who is the father?
In setting the film years after the last film ended, the production team seamlessly found a way to create a new narrative while keeping the narrative and the characters that drew audiences in from the beginning. Bridget is an every-woman, her life reflects the lives of many of the women in the audience. While our careers and our social lives are successful, there is a small part of us that yearns for a partner to share it with.
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.