Book Review: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

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Photo: Rex Features

Calories 1baljillionand1. Minutes spent eating grated cheese 1million. Minutes spent on dating/social media sites 100,0o0. Packets of chocolate biscuits consumed 1,000. (v.bad). Number of husbands 1. Number of dead husbands 1. Number of boyfriends 2. Current boyfriend 1. Number of children 2. Screen writing gigs 0.

Have you ever had that feeling when reading a book, that you simultaneously want to toss the book to the side because there is so much out there that is actually worthwhile reading, but despite the crappyness you plonk through it because 1) you finish the books you start 2) you are waiting for the part of the book where you have the moment and the entire book seems worth it. With this book, this moment never happened.

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I don’t want to be mean and go all feminist-ninja but one can only control ones disgust up to a certain extent. And on page 300-something when Bridget for the third time expresses she loves/lusts someone, I just broke. I think Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is a desperate attempt to maintain girlish-ness at the age of some fifty-one. True mid-life crisis right there. The narrative voice of a want-to-be thirty year old (trapped 18 years old more like) who is 51 and still logs her weight, calories and total grated cheese intake with a twist of social media, texting, online dating sites and a complete lack of care towards her children’s school punctuality. The narrative voice sounds like a teen falling in and out of love, having more breakdowns than Britney and the only hope that is provided for Bridget to move away from her born-again-virgin/ not-happily-ever-after state (whichisobvsbad – sense the sarcasm) is to find a man. Comical heroine aside I have come to the conclusion after reading this book that without a man Bridget Jones cannot be happy… ever. For Gods sake. It’s like a twisted Fairytale dressed up in adult frustrations, advancement of technology related to dating, desperate women on the hunt for men and men (supposed prince charmings’) on the hunt for what is best for them. Don’t know how I plodded through really.

There comes a point when a woman is no longer a comical heroine and becomes completely tragic and desperate in search for love to not be lonely, Bridget Jones not only reached this peak, she soared through with flying colours. No man in her life is left unfantasised (yes this is a word!) or idealised: not the toy-boy, the leatherjacketguy, the dead husband, the old flame or the kids teacher. I’m not going all ninja-feminista here but this is a poor excuse for a Romcom if there ever needed to be one. Not really reppin’ the single mother train.

After 14 years Helen Fielding doesn’t bring back the Bridget Jones who found her Mr. Perfect (Darcy) she brings back a widow who would be better in a 50 Shades Of Grey spinoff. This book could have been great with tales of marriage – I guess that would have taken some actual imagination – but things seems to have gone backwards. Bridget’s character is too unreal, she is launching an untimely career into screen writing, battling with her guilt of looking for a new love that isn’t Mark and is in a a trainwreck. There is no substance to this story. It’s like Fielding woke up 14 years after, got extremely bored and decided to write. Except the world moved on. Bridget Jones is no longer what the women today in her position would represent or act like. At least not in my mind. I believe women today aren’t as clingy-desperate as Bridget. At least, I hope.

This story should have been left where is was started back in the 90s – I have nothing against the 90s, I was born in them but somethings are better left untouched and this is one of them. Hopefully Fielding won’t take another sabbatical for 14 years and try to write about a 60something year old Bridget looking for a robot prince charming after her current new boyfriend dies of bodyfailure (whateveisthat?) and she has to mourn him and her other dead husband with now four kids. The jig just gets old, lets put Bridget to rest. Please.

*I would like to say that the reason I purchased this book is because I wanted an easy read after finishing my English degree. However easy read doesn’t necessarily have-to-mean a bad read, unfortunately in this case it did.