Monday, September 23, 2013

Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

To celebrate the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice with Austenprose, I chose to reread Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones:  The Edge of Reason.  I also thought it was timely as I am greatly looking forward to Bridget Jones:  Mad About the Boy being released in October.

I’ll admit that when I first read the two books, I was a Singleton and related too much of the material.  My life as a married mother of three is far different now, but I still found the two books to be hilarious.  I love that Bridget is a relatable woman and I also love how Bridget Jones’s Diary is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, while Edge of Reason is a modern take on Persuasion.

In Bridget Jones’s diary, Bridget navigates the waters of life and love as a single British woman in her thirties.  Her witticisms and observations on life are quite hilarious.  Bridget at first falls for her boss, the dastardly Daniel Cleaver, but also has a love/hate relationship with the handsome haughty lawyer, Mark Darcy.

Some of my favorite passages are when Bridget relates to Pride and Prejudice:

“It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party.  It’s like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting, “Cathy” and banging your head against a tree.”

“That is precisely my feeling about Darcy and Elizabeth.  They are my chosen representatives in the field of shagging, or rather, courtship.  I do not, however, wish to see any actual goals.  I would hate to see Darcy and Elizabeth in bed, smoking a cigarette afterwards.  That would be unnatural and wrong and I would quickly lose interest.”

Overall, I loved reading Bridget Jones’s diary again and it really makes me want to watch the movie again.  Bridget Jones:  The Edge of Reason is a good sequel, and so much better than the movie version. I remember watching the movie at the theatre incensed that they totally blew the Persuasion theme of the novel.  In The Edge of Reason, Bridget is back and in a functional relationship with Mark Darcy.  Under the persuasion of self-help manuals and her friends, she is sure that something is wrong with her relationship and soon the two are divided.  Like Captain Wentworth and Anne, Darcy and Bridget move on, but can’t forget each other.

One of my favorite scenes is when Bridget interviews Colin Firth.  She is supposed to ask him about his new movie, but all she can talk about is his portrayal of a wet shirted Darcy.  Classic.

Both novels are well worth checking out for their humor and for their Austen moments.

Book Source:  My personal library.

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