Thursday, 26 May 2011

International Chick Lit Month: Why I Hate Bridget Jones

The most famous Chick Lit of all time and the one that really set it all off. Bridget Jones's Diary is named by The Guardian as one of the ten novels that defined the 20th century. The now iconic book written by Helen Fielding was inspired by her very popular single girl about town column in The Independent. Not too dissimilar from Candace Bushnell who also kicked off her career at the same time, where she penned her own column for The New York Observer. Well I never got round to reading Bridget Jones but I did watch the film when it was released back in 2001 (my god that was ten years ago) and how appropriate was that film to my life and state of mind back then. Bridget Jones, played by Renee Zellweger is a curvy, nice middle class girl who works for a publishing company. Work is an interesting word as Bridget seems to spend most of her time dreamy over Daniel Cleaver played by Hugh Grant who she believes is her Mr Right and obsessing over her weight. She keeps a diary that monitors every pound she has lost and or put on and also how many glasses of wine she has consumed. She meets Mark Darcy played by Colin Firth at her parent's Christmas Party and despite encouragement by both their parents, the two fail to hit it off. Mark thinks Bridget is a ditzy bimbo and Bridget writes Mark off as a stuck up snob. After spending New Year's Eve alone she decides to turn her life around by losing weight, drinking less wine and finding herself a nice man. I totally loved this film when I first saw it but now I can barely watch it without cringing. I really feel that Bridget Jones gives single women and chick flicks a bad name with her constant scatty and needy ways.

Below I have listed he things I dislike about Bridget Jones's Diary:

It reinforces the stereotype that women need a man in order to complete them and if they never find the one then they are destined for a life of loneliness and will eventually turn into a psycho.
This notion that we all need a man to complete us is frankly patronising and out of sync. More and more of us live alone and also lead content lives without a man and children while managing not to have an emotional breakdown.

That the Brits are upper class twats who say fuck, bollocks and bugger a lot. 
Seriously? Who talks like that? Britain comprises of England, Scotland and Wales, three countries that have very different accents and that is not taking into consideration all the different regional dialects. To portray Brits as people who only talk like they have tomatoes in their mouths is just ridiculous.

That single women are ditzy airheads who make bad decisions and cannot cook and live in domestic chaos. 
This never fails to annoy me. Most single females are not all airheads who can barely find their way out of a paper bag, we are strong, independent women who juggle careers, family, friends and a mortgage - and we cook too.

That Hugh Grant needs to be in every Brit movie in order for it to be a success. 
There was a time back in the day when Hugh Grant was a serious actor but that all changed when Four Weddings and a Funeral became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic. It is amazing what success does to a man, since then Hugh had elevated his then girlfriend, Elizabeth Hurley to celebrity life, hooked up with a prostitute and is now the figurehead for Brit romcoms. Someone send him his pension book.

That modern women smoke like chimney pots and drink like fishes. 
Strangely enough some of us actually value our bodies and apart from the odd drink here and there we like to look after it. This does not include drinking more booze than your body weight and smoking like a fish wife.

Overall Bridget Jones's Diary leaves a lot to desire and really sets women back a few decades.I pray that they do not make another movie.

2 cool comments:

Yazzselena said...

Totally agree, very well said! I found her a bit claustraphobic actually. The only bit in the movie I really enjoyed was her coming down the fireman's pole. That was hilarious. I like physical comedy. It's the reason I found My Cousin Vinny funny too : )

BJ - epitomised a time perhaps? I don't know, I've shared some of those concerns and insecurities but I also have a brain, soul, grace and a heart I'm extremely proud off. So I couldn't relate to the 'I need a man, I need a man, I fancy my boss etc etc' bit.

And she didn't seem to be very good at her job either, I wouldn't have minded her vulnerabilities if she was at least good at what she did! It's the England, that Hollywood and the wider world wants to believe exists I reckon : )

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, I totally I agree with you. I remembered when the book (not really the book) but the film (oh goodness!) came out, majority of the single girls i know wanted to be like her. At first I tried being a Bridget, but felt weird later on. I mean, there's more to life than finding Mr. Right.