Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bridget Jones - Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding

[SPOILER ALERT!] Author Helen Fielding has decided to kill off Mark Darcy in the new novel, which is out NOW!  Instead, her heroine Bridget has to enter the dating scene again after becoming a widow.

MMM - So is there any point reading on?  G'wan I dare you ...

Reasons to avoid reading this because I’m a guy and I really don’t give a rat’s ass about the trials and tribulations of a neurotic, born-again lonely woman in her 50’s, with two children re-dipping her toe into the dating pool in the modern era: 1,000,000.  Reasons why even for a guy to enjoy the familiar irony and characters made so popular by the first two books – Bridget Jones’ Diary and Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason and the ensuing films starring Renee Zellweiger (mmmm), Colin Firth (Whatever) and Hugh Laurie (Annoying, good looking floppy haired heartthrob – Euuuch!): 386 pages.

OK, cards on the table.  It was during one weekend skiing trip.  We were snowed it and there was absolutely NOTHING to read.  It was then that I was introduced to Bridget, the overweight neurotic dating failure who idealised Mr Darcy from Sense and Sensibility and lusted after his spitting image and ironical copy from the British TV drama - She had met him before, of course, running around naked on his front lawn, aged three years.  Plenty of arguably girly, pointless action (ie no guns or chicks or cars occur and, long story short, Bridget gets her man and marries Darcy and has a family and everything ends happily ever after.

Then this year we catch up with Bridget in 2013.  She’s writing (or procrastinating to write) a screen play based on Hedda Gerbler (go figure!), Darcy’s been killed off (because he was a brave and fearless Human Rights Lawyer and Fielding just had to drive him over a mine in the Sudan).  So Jones, with her two children, surrounded by arrogant Sloane Rangers, a lovable but hippy neighbour, and the same cast of friends from before (Gay Tom, Jude – still pursued by vile Richard who she married, divorced and is still taunted by) bar the foul mouthed Shazza who’s off in South America doing deals.  Her mad, over committed mother is still over arranging Bridget’s social calendar, which is now completely bare thanks to her widowhood. 

There is however peer pressure to get back on the dating horse, with the new additions of texting, Google, relation and dating sites and Twitter.  Bridget quickly masters the art of losing weight and becoming a ‘followed woman’ on Twitter.  If the irony of being in her own web blog/diary about dating as a middle-aged widow is lost on you then ask any of your single (or recently divorced/widowed) female friends.  This book is, to a degree the same as the first, only gagging to be released on  Seriously, the whole thing isa digital download of flirting, anxiety and conquest addressing the aged old question first posed when Fielding ripped off all the best bits from Sense and Sensibility: Does a woman need a man to define who she is?.  Fish riding bicycles aside, in the world of Bridget Jones chivalry, manners, romance and all the advice of a library of dating manuals and parenting books adds up to a huge pile of beans.  This book, for some reason is funnier, smarter and less exasperating perhaps because I’ve been there (not recently, but texting was around) and I know others going through that now.  If you are in your 20’s venturing out on the universe of dating remember this: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and Bridget Jones is still stuck well up her own Uranus – only in a later model, so read the first tow and do not venture to this the third until you’re in your 40’s at least!

And in response to that Spoiler Alert .... well, ok a little OTT - But I made you look!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review, but Bridget wasn't really overweight until that brief time after Mark died. Sorry just want to state the diff between a gal worrying about her weight in general and a overweight gal : )