So it should be quite obvious that I’m a fan of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Perhaps fan is the wrong word. I kind of thought I was Bridget, down to being thrilled when the brand of ciggie she smoked was introduced into India and adopting it right away. At some point, I believed I had turned into Magda, the Smug Married with shades of Sharon the ranting feminist, whose terms ‘mentionitis’ and ‘emotional fuckwittage’ I use in everyday life, but in the end, I think I’m mostly Bridge. So obviously, I was gagging for the latest installment and while most of the reviews weren’t overly positive, I still had to see for myself. Here are my thoughts:
- Initially found the book quite annoying because Bridget is 51 but seems to still have the insecurities of a 30-year-old. Fifty-year-olds please raise your hands if you still feel as at sea as when you were 30 and then we can all roll over and die. But I’m still in my early 30s, despite having been convinced by husband that I’m 35, and I feel quite content about all the things Bridget seems restless about. Or does this only apply if one is cast back in the dating arena/find oneself sans spouse?
- So you know how as one grows older, the age which one considers ‘old’ seems to get pushed back. Well, it seems I consider 50 old. Or rather, I find it harder to picture a 50-year-old woman with toddler children than I find it picturing her dating a 30 year old man.
- The parts I loved were those related to motherhood. In this I still identify with Bridget a lot, because she seems as at a loss and chaotic in this role as all the others and that makes me feel less bad about self and recent slacking off. Also, I realised she doesn’t have full time job and then I felt better. Yay.
- Even at 50, the old insecurities in the dating game seem to be the same. Though apparently, by 2013, one is allowed to be more forward, the whole process seems fraught with insecurity.
- Bridget on Twitter is genius. It’s an update on her flirty conversations with Daniel but with added cluelessness.
- When I read the summary, I thought the romance with a substantially younger man was weird, but the way it played out was quite natural.
- The death of Mark Darcy is a convenient way to freeze him in memory as Mr Perfect. From my current cynical standpoint, I kind of wish this book had portrayed the reality of marriage after seven years and two kids but that might kill the genre altogether I guess.
- In the end, the book upholds the fantasy of Mr Darcy, a white knight mixed with shades of Daddy, who tells you what’s what and ultimately saves the day, resulting in you being both abashed and intensely turned on. This is deeply unfeminist but the reason I identify with Bridge, apart from her scattyness, is this fantasy. And from the looks of it, I’m not alone in this.
If you haven’t read the book yet, and don’t want to know what happens in it, don’t read the comments.