Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy (2 out of 5)
Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy, has not received a golden chalice from reviewers. It hasn’t received much in the way of favorable press overall in the print media, nor among bloggers. Last time I checked Goodreads, overall vibe was not good. The reason for that? It really doesn’t deserve it.
I loved the previous Bridget Jones books. I didn’t even object when my least favorite celebrien(celebrity alien) Renee Zellweger was cast as Bridget. As much as I dislike her, she really did make the character her own. And who could argue with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy? I love him, I couldn’t. I could, however, argue with the name Mr. Darcy, because of the Bronte classic. I could also argue with the name Mr. Darcy because it was the name of my favorite sitcom character of my all-time favorite show, Married With Children (although, to their credit, THAT Mr. Darcy has a first name, and it’s Jefferson. And played by the awesome Ted McGinley.). Sorry, I got off the beaten path a bit there.
Anyway, Helen Fielding’s earlier books have an impish charm. Bridget Jones in mid-life crisis? You know by now if you don’t live in a cellophane (cell phone) bubble, that Mr. Darcy is not part of the canvas of this novel. I’m glad for the character and the memory of fondness with which I recall him that he isn’t. Bridget is still the same insecure gal she was, but add losing Darcy, middle age, and the advances in technology and the world in general to the mix and she takes on a whole new dimension. There’s still a huge part of me that laughed slightly at the quirky way she has of journaling and looking at things (in particular, her desire to gain thousands of Twitter followers), but really, how many 40 somethings still keep journals and sweat themselves into anxiety over the number of Twitter follows and unfollows they have? Not too many that I know of, including myself. It can be argued that she is trying to escape the medocrity that is life, or that she’s still grieving over Darcy’s death, or that she’s just stuck in a rut (sorry, The Darkness invades again), but it kind of rings hollow. Again, Bridget isn’t a narcissistic person; far from it, in fact, but she’s still the same scared British girl she was previously, but instead of being charmed while weaving your way through her life nowadays, there are more than a few tinges of “Really, get over yourself, girlfriend.” I thought the purpose of resurrecting a popular character is to bring her into the present and rediscover your love of that character and her quirkiness. Instead, it felt like the opposite was true.
You have the prerequisite “older woman, younger man” relationship. First off, the fact that she falls for and is digging this guy while still mourning Darcy, unbelievable, but it happens in the tabloids all the time, so clearly, Bridget would go that way. The clod is, well, a clod, and not at all worthy of challenging the memory of Darcy and his love for Bridget. There isn’t much I can say except that this whole angle of the book ,to me, seems forced and cliche. I had hoped Bridget would head in newer, less cliched scandal traps. Not the case, so you deal with it, but it really kills your enthusiasm for the book. There was a lot working against the book, and not much for it.