Why I still love Bridget Jones and critics should wait until they’ve actually read the book


I read a Twitter comment the other day which really annoyed me: “I hated Bridget Jones and found her desperately unfunny first time around. Never identified with her at all.”

Urgh! How gruesome. This is exactly the sort of comment Bridget herself would refer to as coming from a “smug married”.

It’s not just about Bridget Jones and the new book, it’s about society in general. People who believe themselves so superior to modern and popular culture. It echoes the way people reacted to the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey books.

Why can’t people just like things without having to worry about what other people will think? It has become a sad world when all literature has to begin with a capital L and escapist films and TV programmes are mocked.

I honestly think most of the people who poo-poo such modern phenomena are simply jumping on the band wagon and in most cases, haven’t even read the books they are objecting to.

I for one loved Bridget Jones and the sequel, Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason. I must have read the first book at least five times.

I have a degree in English Literature so before anyone gets snobby, I have read other classics but Helen Fielding is so funny and I think writing in diary form is hard.

Come on-Jane Austen has had some stick in her time-not least when it was first published when, despite her work being widely read, little praise was received for such epic classics as Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

Maybe in 200 years time Fielding’s novels will be held in similar esteem and rather than visiting Bath’s Pump House, people in the future could visit the street where Bridget ran in her knickers to meet her Mr Darcy.

Many of the people criticising Fielding’s third book in the series are going solely off what other people have said. Only two excerpts were released for The Sunday Times and the Times so no one really knows what has happened. Can we not wait until people have actually read the book to criticise it?

Many people are said to be ‘devastated’ about the news of Mark Darcy’s death but what fun would it be if Bridget’s character had become happy and a smug married herself?

Could anyone seriously imagine Bridget as anything but single?

 Throughout a large part of my adult life, I have laughed and cried with Bridget Jones and identified wholeheartedly with her character battling with weight, men and work worries.

Before my best friend and I got married, and were singletons, we often referred to ourselves as ‘Bridgets.’ Which proves that the character is so embedded in our psyche as a culture that the word has become to single people what hoover is to vacuum cleaners. It is just unfortunate that Bridgets seem to have a negative connotation.

In the excerpt I read, Bridget’s ditsy, unhinged attitude to life continued yet I read people slating this saying she should have grown up now that she had two children.

I don’t know about you but my erratic, ditsy and yes, unhinged behaviour has not changed since having children and some might say it has become worse (I’m totally blaming it on baby brain, despite my daughter being 2 and I will continue to do s for the rest of my life!!).

We live in a society where people are incredibly quick at judging others. From what they wear, what they read to how they bring up their children.

I am proud of my former Bridget life.  I can’t hear Gabrielle’s Out of Reach without feeling a pang of nostalgia and let’s face it, Colin Firth made Christmas jumpers fashionable again.

I am waiting until I’ve read Mad About the Boy to pass judgment. I can’t wait!


  1. I loved Bridget when she was still ditsy and looking for love (even though I was a smug married myself at the time) but I can’t help feeling it is slightly pathetic to be “ditsy” in your fifties: what is endearing in a 29-year-old is unforgivably irritating in a woman old enough to know better. So I hope I’m wrong, but I do wonder if this is will prove to be a joke that has been stretched a little too far, and that we’d all have been happier to imagine Bridget living h.e.a with the lovely Mark Darcy…

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