Friday, December 20, 2013

How's your love life, anyway?

As I started to write this review I realized wow, I am way behind. Perhaps I'll make a New Years resolution to get better at reviewing books in a timely manner. (I will not do that. Not even make the resolution. That's just taunting me to now take 3 months before I write a review.)

I picked up Bridget Jones's Diary on my way down to South Carolina for Thanksgiving. After re-reading Attachments and even Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? with it's section on how much Kaling likes rom-coms, I thought it was a good opportunity to check out this...I'll say classic rom-com. Plus I had recently re-watched Pride & Prejudice* so this seemed like a good choice. And hey guess what? It was. Good job, me.

For those of you that haven't read the book yet, or seen the movie, or somehow learned the plot via osmosis since it's been sort of a big deal for awhile, here's a plot synopsis.

It's sort of Pride and Prejudice but today.

Fine, a little more. Bridget Jones is keeping a diary (oh, you guessed that from the title? Well, good for you. Quit interrupting). She starts the book with her New Years resolutions. It's the typical stuff: drink less, quit smoking, lose weight, find a boyfriend. Or more accurately "Form a functional relationship with a responsible adult." She starts each of her diary entries with how much she drank, ate, and smoked. She does as well as you'd assume one would do with New Years resolutions, which I liked because if she actually did a good job with her resolutions, especially long-term, I would side-eye her a lot. Her parents and their friends keep trying to set her up with Mr. Darcy (SEE, P&P) a super rich lawyer guy who wears bad sweaters. They don't really connect and instead Jones starts hooking up with her boss.

The novel is Bridget being a single woman over the age of thirty in London, which is apparently a BIG DEAL. Not so much to her, but MAN everyone in her family and their friends are constantly asking her why she's not married yet and she better hurry up ("'You career girls! I don't know! Can't put it off forever, you know. Tick-tock-tick-tock.' 'Yes. How does a woman manage to get to your age without being married?'") and I wanted to kick people for her. Of course then she complains about being a 130lbs and the "terrifying slide into obesity" so then I want to kick her too. SHIN KICKS FOR EVERYONE. But they're shin kicks out of love. She has her friends and embarrassing mishaps, like going to a thing called a "tarts and vicars" party (Which, what? This is a thing?) so she dresses as a tart and then turns out they decided last minute that it will just be a normal party, but my Bridget, what lovely dominatrix outfit.

I know I said this in my Attachments review already, but rom-coms aren't typically my thing. But Bridget doesn't act by rom-com logic. She struggling through life in a general I-haven't-quite-figured-out-how-to-adult-yet way and she makes bad decisions, but they're hilarious. Especially her dinner party which might possibly be my favorite part, even when I was yelling 'No, you fool!! Not like that!" Overall there are a lot of funny moments, without it being Sex in the City pun fiesta. Stuff like

Tom has a theory that homosexuals and single women in their thirties have natural bonding: both being accustomed to disappointing their parents and being treated as freaks by society.

I have been waging a campaign on our street against car burglar alarms which are intolerable and counterproductive since you are more likely to get your car broken into by an angry neighbor.

I liked this book and it was the perfect quick read that didn't require too much deep thinking. I know this is an obvious comparison, but it's along the lines of Confessions of a Shopaholic. I don't plan on rushing out and reading the other Bridget Jones books, but this was the perfect airport read.

*The Kiera Knightly one and I KNOW some of you out there think this is blasphemous compared to the Colin Firth one except 1) I don't know why everyone has Knightly. She's fine. 2) I do not get the sexual attraction to Firth. Perhaps that would change if I did see his P&P (I didn't understand the wonder that is Benedict Cumberbatch until I finally watched Sherlock so it's possible). I'm sticking with my P&P thankyouverymuch.

Title quote from page 11, location 149

Fielding, Helen. Bridget Jones's Diary. Penguin Books, 1996. Kindle edition