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Sunday, February 23, 2014


Bridget is back, and it is the same Bridget we remember. (Review by Keith Millar)

Bridget Jones - quirky, neurotic, calamity prone, needy, but most of all very lovable - was the most popular romantic comedy heroine of the late 1990’s.

She was introduced to the world by author Helen Fielding via her multi-million selling books, Bridget Jones’ Diary, followed by Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Both of these books were made into major blockbuster movies starring RenĂ©e Zellweger (as Bridget), Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Well, now she is back. Not, however, as the ditsy, thirty-something year old singleton bumbling her way through life. She is now a ditsy, 51 year old middle aged woman still bumbling her way through life.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge. In the 14 years since her last appearance she married the love her life, human rights lawyer, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth in the movies) had two children and then was widowed when Darcy was tragically killed.

The story is set in contemporary London where Bridget is trying to forge a new life for herself amidst a technological world of texting, tweeting X-Boxes, and I-Pads. She is, as ever, obsessed by her weight and sex-life, or in this case the lack of one. She is encouraged by her usual gang of whacky friends Jude, Tom and Talitha to try dating websites. This proves to be a hilarious failure.

Then she meets, via Twitter, a 29 year old toy boy and embarks on a hot steamy and possibly inappropriate, affair with him.

In the meantime she still has to deal with getting her children, Billy and Mabel, to and from school, their school concerts, sports days and  play dates, her own new career as an aspiring film scriptwriter, as well as constant demands from her mother who now lives in an retirement village.

Bridget’s lack of organizational skills and scatter-brained approach to most things results in many very funny episodes and incidents occurring along the way, None more so than her encounters with Billy’s very good looking, and more age appropriate, teacher Mr Wallaker.

As usual Helen Fielding populates her book with many delightful, eccentric and very funny characters. Aside from the aforementioned Jude, Tom and Talitha, old charmer Daniel (Hugh Grant in the movies) makes a few appearances as do several school moms and a new friend, Rebecca, who is a modern hippie.

One looks forward to the movie, which is almost sure to follow, to meet this fascinating cast of characters.

There are also several poignant moments in the book while Bridget struggles to deal with the grief over the death of her husband.

On some levels one may wish that Bridget Jones would grow up a bit, get a grip on life and act her age. However, she would then not be the endearing and very human character that everyone adored.

Bridget is back, and it is the same Bridget we remember - and I am sure her millions of fans will be very happy about that.

Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy is a very enjoyable light read and is recommended to all who enjoy romantic comedy. Published by Jonathon Cape ISBN: 978-0-22409-810-6. Recommended retail price is R250. – Keith Millar