Thursday, August 04, 2005

she's back!

Not me, I'm not back, I'm still here in the UK. No, the she who's back is Bridget Jones, reappearing in newspaper columns (no, you can't actually read it there unless you pay...) here as she did in her original incarnation. I think the original Bridget Jones was too late for me: I was already a Smug Married when she coined the term, and the travails of a single woman dating didn't do it for me the way it did for so many others. Yes, I got the allusions to Pride & Prejudice, and yes, some of the scenes did make me laugh out loud, but I didn't read it more than once and, while the movie made me laugh, I didn't run out to read the second installment or to see the second movie.

Until last night. Last night I stayed up far past my bedtime (and on a school night!) reading Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. It didn't make me laugh out loud, as the first one had--rather, it made me cringe. The similarities to Persuasion were just as overwhelming as the P&P ones in the first book, and since Persuasion itself is kind of cringe-making I suppose that all made sense. Though does she have to be such an idiot? I don't mind her making a fool of herself with Colin Firth--who wouldn't? But really, not to know where Germany is? Anne Elliott would be appalled. I think there's an argument to be made about Bridget as feminist heroine, someone who rolls with the punches of contemporary life and manages to rise above her fairly crappy surroundings, but she could do that and not be quite so stupid, and would it really hurt? Couldn't it still be funny?

Still, I kept reading. Like J. K. Rowling, Helen Fielding knows how to hook you with story, with that breathless anticipation of what's coming next. And so now I want to find Bridget in The Independent and see what she's up to, almost ten years on from her first incarnation. I'll let you know what I think.

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