The Big Read

No.75 – Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding Read 03/09/13

Just as a side note I DESPISE the fact that you can put Jones’s in English. It looks so ugly I would usually put Jones’ because it is infinitely neater but the author went with Jones’s so I am going to have to deal with it.

So Bridget Jones’s Diary is one of the greatest chick-flick films of all time. If you haven’t seen it I don’t know what you’ve been doing for the past 15 years but it is so good I may even call it a classic of British Cinema (too far??). So imagine my excitement when I found a copy of the book in a charity shop whilst on holiday in Ireland for 25cents! I was so excited it was going to be amazing and funny and better than the film….

It wasn’t. I can’t tell you how disappointing a read it was. I don’t think I have ever said this before in my life but the film was better than the book. Bridget in the film is feisty, clumsy and normal; Bridget in the book is whiny, clumsy and normal, frankly she is incredibly annoying. You get the impression that film Bridget sort of resents the idea that she needs to get married and settle down, although she secretly does want that she’d never really let on. But book Bridget is the opposite you feel her desperation with every word and she pretends to not care as a poor façade for the fact she NEEDS A MAN NOW. It feels to me that film Bridget is a feminist and book Bridget is not and it is such a subtle change in the way the character is portrayed and it makes so much difference. I have a lot more respect for Renée Zellweger, as an actress after seeing how she transformed Bridget.

I also want to talk about the fact that the plot is just a blatant rip off of Pride and Prejudice and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Because you know it is exactly the same story line, it is openly acknowledge, it is a joke in the book itself and it makes me kind of sad. Because as previously discussed Austen is satirising the culture of women desperately needing a husband and in 200 years that is still relevant to the extent that you can lift the entire story and plop it in a modern setting and it still works in its entirety. In 200 years we made zero progress. I find that a bit tragic.

Rating: 2/5

Would recommend to: I wouldn’t.

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