It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.

– Helen Fielding (Bridget: Bridget Jones’s Diary)

 

Now that I’ve been blogging for a few weeks and keeping to my new year’s resolution of writing a post a week I thought it would be a good idea to start a series of blogs focussing on my favourite movies and television shows. Starting this series is of course what I think is everyone’s favourite – Bridget Jones. For the few who haven’t been graced with the non-graceful behaviour that is our favourite Spinster… wait. You haven’t watched Bridget Jones’s Diary? …Go watch it. Now.

Based on Helen Fielding’s book franchise by the same name (the latest one pulled in 50,000 copies in a single British day), the franchise now contains three movies about every millennial’s favourite spinster. To me one of the reasons why Bridget has become so important to me has been the reality of many of her predicaments. You sit there and think to yourself “Omg. So me.” all the way through the movies.

Granted, I’ve never found myself locked up in a Thai prison and probably don’t want to experience that. Or had to worry about two equally stunning men chasing after me, although Cleaver is a bit of an ass let’s be honest. But the appeal of Ms. Jones is beyond that, she’s exactly what all of us feel like as we stumble through the reality of life. Especially those moments we are stretched well and far beyond our comfort zones.

She’s typical for what most of us call reality. Antagonising over her weight (I feel), physical appearance, financial situation, career, relationships… What most of us worry about on a regular basis. But she communicates this in a way that most of us would never be comfortable expressing.

 

Alcohol consumption is not too far off either. For many of us the idea of the weekly binge is not too far apart from what Bridget is going through. Granted, I am Australian so our idea of ‘one drink’ is a little more excessive than most countries…

The first two movies (Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Edge of Reason) are my go-to marathon for when I’m feeling down, and according to my iTunes have 250 plays since I added it in 2013. This isn’t too far behind Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (260), Love Actually (259), and Duets (251). I’m not alone in this phenomenon, to the point that I have discussions, and heck, have even had a Bridget Jones’ themed birthday party. (I’m lame, have you picked up on that yet?).

 

As far as romantic comedies go, Bridget Jones is almost certainly for mature audiences only it features more profane language than any other movie in the genre. But I suppose…that’s what makes it work? It’s not like the other movies in the genre; it’s raw, serious, honest, and exactly what the audience wants. Which, I suspect is due to Richard Curtis’ influence on this series. The Boat That Rocked, Vicar of Dibley, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and of course Notting Hill all feature in his discography.

The third Bridget Jones’ movie was released in early 2016,  a full 12 years since The Edge of Reason was released to the public. Which raises the question to me of ‘Why?’, is this just a chance to push Bridget Jones one more time to leach of the loyal fanbase of fans such as myself who relate so closely with Bridget.

In some ways I am glad the third movie happened. It gave me a chance to relive the joy of a new Bridget Jones’ movie coming out, and I was more surprised than I originally thought.  It was phenomenal to see Colin Firth, Renee Zellweger, and a new addition Emma Thompson coming to the big screen to see Bridget go through the same old antics in the last two movies (minus the baby bump) once more and give us fans a chance to finally add a third movie to the trilogy. The movie hits the nail on the head for me, taking quite a lot of the story from Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. I mean, at least (SPOILER ALERT) without the death of Darcy.

I completely forgot Emma Thompson was an Oscar winning screenwriter (oops – my fault), but in reflection it’s quite obvious her graceful writing has touched this franchise.

But in reality, sorry. It does not live up to the brilliance that is the first two movies. It fits into the year-of-predictable-sequels that was 2016. Nothing less. It’s going to become a staple in my girls-night-in collection, but it’s no way near as amazing as the first two movies.

 

My final thoughts

If you haven’t seen Bridget Jones’ Diary. Get a copy. It’s one of my favourite movies (hence why it’s being covered in this series). You can safely skip the third movie, but I think after seeing the first two you will have no other reaction but to get the third as well.