Bridget Jones, the woman who seemed to define a decade, is back. Her creator Helen Fielding has returned to her roots and started writing a weekly diary again. Here, Magazine reader Rebecca Moy, who shared her singleton days with Bridget, looks at the new column and wonders if she's in a time-warp.
Bridget was never good at avoiding her exes. In fact, in this first instalment of her re-born diary, published on Thursday in the Independent, she describes herself as an "ex-whore", adding helpfully, "not in sense of former whore, but ex-boyfriend whore, if see what mean".
Bridget has returned to her roots
So it shouldn't really come as a shock that Helen Fielding has returned to her ex-employer, the newspaper which was Bridget's first love, with whom everything was perfect and the sex was great (OK, this analogy has just broken down).
But reading Bridget's comeback column, there is a slight sense of deja vu. She's still single. Still smoking, still drinking (Chardonnay, Bridg? How late 90s), still counting calories. And still going on about Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver.
This is something of a disappointment, even though Helen Fielding has promised that her heroine is going to be entering a new phase of her life. An unexpected pregnancy, perhaps? Or maybe turning her thoughts to what women have to offer?
While Bridget's past travails with men once struck a chord, now I fondly hope that if I found myself newly single and a bit down, a night out wouldn't send me straight into the arms of a guy I fancied 10 years ago. No offence, boys, you were gorgeous at the time but tastes change. Bridget might not have moved on, but I certainly have.
The Bridget Jones years were great ones. As a young single woman, leading a busy social life but desiring a fulfilling personal life and career, I could certainly identify with Bridget. To me and a generation of my sisters, she seemed uncannily true to life.
And yet, enjoyable though the two films starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant were, somehow the big screen Bridget just wasn't the same girl as the one in the books.
Renee's Bridget was more of a clown, more of a ditz, less of an everygirl. This was obviously all in the goal of creating a successful movie, but on reading the column again, one can't help but wonder which Bridget is speaking? Is it the slightly willowy, dark-haired girl of the column? Or is it the red-cheeked big pant-wearer of the film?
Helen Fielding herself has pointed to this problem. On BBC Breakfast on Thursday, she said: "Am I seeing the characters of the original diary or the characters from the film?"
Having read the column (which the Independent is charging online users to read), I'm really not certain which it is. There's enough of movie-Bridget there to keep fans of the film happy, but the original Bridget still occasionally peeks through.
The one thing the film never captured was Helen Fielding's take on current events (something which led her to the original obsession with Pride and Prejudice, since the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version was on TV then).
But I was glad to see there's still a touch of that around, eg in Bridget's comment on braving public transport even after the 7 July bombings. "[I have] pride at how well am personally handling the crisis. Not entirely sure where pride comes from as have not exactly done anything except resolving to take trainers to work when wearing unsuitable shoes. But still."
And again: "Really wanted a little baby to love, though not, obviously, weekend nanny to shag ex-husband."
If this is the authentic Bridget speaking through, then I, for one, will join with headline writers everywhere in saying "v good".
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Whole pound to read diary of drunken fool? Surely obsolete in new blogcentric world?
I must say I'm a bit disappointed that H Fielding chose to make Bridget single again. Couldn't she have written a funny take on life's trials and tribulations for a Bridget who marries the rather snobbish Darcy, maybe has his kids, has to entertain his colleagues etc. Her reverting to singledom smacks too loudly of the "more of the same" syndrome that affects a lot of series. I'd like to see Bridget grow up and move on and, being Bridget, she's sure to keep on amusing her public anyways.
Tanya Briffa, Malta
I have never understood the popularity of the Bridget Jones character. She seems pretty pathetic and needy to me. All her worrying and daydreaming seems far removed from my own life and my friends' lives too.
I'm not say we're unfeeling zombies, but when we do meet the occassional Bridget Jones type, we avoid at all costs!
Life's too short to be weighed down listening to females who spend their time worrying about what some man thinks of them while they're half sloshed.
Carrona Lee, Edinburgh
What we need is a diary from Brad Jones - the single or married guy's take on life and women. Tired of reading about men's shortcomings and how difficult the life of single women is. Sex and the City etc. I'm not a writer myself, but somebody should jump to the challenge.
Edward , Brussels
Book Bridget and Film Bridget are two completley different women, who just happen to have the same name and coincidental experiences. I re-read both Bridget Jones books after seeing the films, and the original Bridget is still there, as she first appeared in my imagination. I'm looking forward to Helen Fielding's new column, as I can relate to Book Bridget more than Rennee's comic creation.
Marianne Armitage, London
I was thoroughly disappointed with this latest offering from Helen Fielding. I agree with the author of this article and would say there is more than a slight sense of deja vu reading the 1st installment... it was boring. To any Bridget fans I would suggest reading one of Fielding's other novels instead - Olivia Joules is a great book
Emma, Plymouth, UK
I am one who followed Bridget in the original Independent column through my thirties. So it is comforting to find that Bridget is single again, like so many of us real women who finally found love (or just a regular man) in our 30s only to lose it all and have to start again in a much tougher world. I will continue to cry and laugh along with Bridget into her forties! Can't wait for the book to come out. Well done to Helen Fielding for making her such a real woman.
V.Disappointed- am a huge fan of the books, not so big a fan of the films (but still love them), but I wanted new stuff from Bridget, not the same old same old. The funniest stuff, in my opinion, came from the interaction between Bridget and her parents- her mum, in the books, is fantastic.
Not sure it's any diff to last time, although passes time nicely. Failure of Brig to move on gives self a sense well being. v. g.
Jennie Dean, Scotland
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