Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Thoughts on: Bridget Jones' Diary

It's really, really hard not to think of the movie instead of the book version of this, but the book came first. Bridget probably was never supposed to look like Renee Zellweger, and it was a bit of laugh to have Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy no doubt, but as is the case with novel adaptations which enjoy considerable success, the sad fact is that most people now can't separate the two.

There's a rule I tend to respect, which was (I think) probably taught to me by my Grandpa: If you see the move first, you hate the book and vice versa.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

Bridget Jones' Diary is basically Pride and Prejudice and I cannot believe that I never noticed that before. I think it's probably because Bridget is infinitely LESS likeable than Elizabeth Bennett. (Seriously, chain smoker, obsessed with dieting and appearance, believes perfect boyfriend will mean ultimate life happines... what kind of a role model is she trying to be?) Yet despite this I have read this book twice now, and both times with ravenous intrigue because it is very entertaining. The book is written in diary style and afterwards I find myself typing to my friends on messenger like this:

"Feel v. hungry. Might make snack."

Like most work that would fall into the category of "chick lit" (I used inverted commas to show my lack of faith in this label) BJD aspires to be... funny, uplifting, empowering etc and to a certain extent, it is. It has the familiar tropes (which might have started with this text perhaps in a way) of the group of girlfriends/ token gay guy who deconstruct emotional eff-wittery on a regular basis (their term, not mine), the meddling but clueless mother who causes problems but sometimes also manages to help without trying, the sexy but emotionally unavailable love interest etc. etc. etc.

It's not exactly a favourite of mine but I did enjoy it. I hope I am managing to sound like I enjoy it even though I am focussing on the critical side of things.... anyway, it was a nice flipside of the coin to Devil's Cub and I will hopefully now write a prizewinning essay on the two... or at least get myself an HD on it for class. Also, this morning, finished 4.48 Psychosis (gosh that spelling always looks so wrong) in about 20 minutes but I think I want to read it again before I post my thoughts.

Entry has been sent off to the John Marsden awards. Have also resolved to get physically fit again to improve self confidence and stop being so tired all the time. (See, there's the Bridget speak.)

Too-raa everyone.

2 comments:

  1. I watched the Lord of the Rings films before I had a chance to read the books. I've tried reading the books a few times but I've failed each time. I blame Peter Jackson for this. I think it's so much better to read the book before you see the film of any book/film adaptation, because you get it in its original context, and then the butchered film version.

    Having said that, however, I think Fight Club is both a brilliant book and movie, as is A Clockwork Orange, (although I believe Kubrick butchered a few parts in the film). One thing I hate is how movies can sometimes draw people away from the books. I mean, if you can get the same information in a single two-hour sitting that would otherwise take a few solid afternoons of reading, you've saved a hell of a lot of time. Then you get the people who are all like "oh my gawd I love that film!!!" and when you ask them if they've read the book they're like "what book? there was a book?"

    I think the thing with movie adaptations sucking is probably just an issue of too many chefs spoiling the broth. If I ever want a book of mine turned into a film, I'll just write the script myself.

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  2. I totally agree. Even though I had read the book before and should have known better, while I was reading BJD I was waiting for Daniel and Mark to fight over Bridget in the streets/ that greek restaurant. But of course that is a movie thing.

    I think movie adaptations of books give people a lazy option to reading. Ironically there is a line in Bridget Jones where one of the characters states that she thinks people should have to prove they have read a novel before they are allowed to watch its film version.

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