Botoxed Bridget leaves laughter lines

Avis Perks | Independent Online (South Africa) - November 22, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 


Mail from Books Editor. Would I like to review new Bridget Jones? Got good crit in New York Times. Gaah! Not huge fan of neurotic, bumbling Bridget of the big bloomers. Read her first diary, which started as a newspaper column, and saw the movie, mainly because of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Skipped the sequel, The Edge of Reason, altogether. On other hand, leaving on holiday tomorrow, and in need of light, jolly, fun, frivolous reading material. Think will have small glass of wine and bag of grated cheese while pondering this weighty issue. Books Editor sends Q&A interview with author Helen Fielding who sounds really cool.


Friday, November 8, 2013


Have packed BJ but feeling insecure about hauling it out of beach bag in full view of intellectually inclined friends. Do not wish to appear in unfavourable literary light. Explain that am sampling it for review purposes only. Epic fail. They seem sceptical.


Paah! Did not see that coming! Totes gobsmacked. In the third instalment Jonesey is 51, widowed, and the mother of two young children. It’s five years after her husband’s untimely demise, and Bridget is ready to hit the dating scene again and rediscover her sexuality. Apparently the death of the delicious Mark Darcy made headline news (in real life) so this is not strictly speaking a spoiler. Hope Colin Firth will be able to pop up in flashbacks during the movie.


Saturday, November 9, 2013


So far funny, easy to read, enjoyable. Have silly grin on face most of time, and lots of chuckle-out-loud moments. Surprisingly, at times there is genuinely moving writing, exploring grief and loss. The kids, Billy and Mabel, are lovely, and the way they miss their dad is poignantly portrayed. Not really in sync with BJ’s timeline, but think can identify more with her now than when she was a thirty-something singleton in the 1990s. The older Bridget is battling to deal with what life throws at you. Can relate to her bewilderment in the face of electronic devices with multiple remotes and rows of mysterious buttons. Loved the part where she’s in bathroom at larney restaurant and can’t figure out how to turn designer taps on. Thought that only happened to me.


On social media front @JoneseyBJ is right in there texting, tweeting, WhatsApping, Facebooking, Instagram-ing, and of course visiting online dating sites with the best of them.


So while she’s still obsessing about kilograms and calories, she’s now counting Twitter followers along with texts and e-mails received. Not quite up to speed with all that myself.


Nor can I claim to relate personally to Bridget as thin, Botoxed, cougar character, lusting after her hottie toy boy, Roxby McDuff, aka Roxster.


Who will play him in the film? Think have seen Ryan Gosling mentioned.


BTW: Discovered on Google (which I do know how to navigate) that Mad About the Boy was not shortlisted for the coveted literary Bad Sex Trophy, as the erotic bits were deemed “not quite cringeworthy enough”.


Monday, November 11, 2013


Not sure if can face much more of endless diary style. Texting and tweeting is getting OTT (over the top) too. Am starting to think and talk (to myself and others) in Bridget-speak. Family suspect am forgetting to use pronouns, “a’s” and “the’s” and heard them whispering about early onset Alzheimer’s. Must KBO (Keep Buggering On). Resolve to make lists.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Some Hilarious Highlights in BJ:


  • Club scene where she and her friends rock up looking uspiciously like an ensemble of elderly transvestites and she meets Leatherjacketman.

  • Desperately competitive yummy mummies who send e-mails about Build-a-Bear parties and Areas of Concern. Bridget dispenses Pimms at school sports day picnic and gets one of the mums drunk. “It’s always so nice to meet someone more badly behaved than oneself,” she reflects.

  • Bridget’s visits to The Obesity Clinic, where group therapy involves confessing to having had “eating relapses”.

  • Her brush with the movie-making business in which phrases like “Let’s see how it comes off the page” are bandied about. She has written a modern version of Hedda Gabbler by Anton Chekhov. Only after the script is printed does she find Gabler should have one “b” and the playwright is in fact Henrik Ibsen. Undeterred when a new screenwriter called Saffron takes over her job, she decides to have a go at updating Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.

  • The foreign-sounding Botox doctor scene. “You don do your mouse, zee face start to droop so you look meeesrable. Like ze Queen”, he tells her.


Thursday, November 14, 2013


OMG. Deadline looming. CONCENTRATE. Would kill for a G&T. Need snappy conclusion. What about Not Mad About the Book? No, too cheesy and probably been done already. Am going to have to pull an all-nighter. Haven’t done that for 40 years. Quite exciting.


Note to self: This is irreverent, slapstick chick lit romcom deluxe and should be treated as such. Not meant to be Great Literature.


It’s an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek send-up of life in 2013, out just in time for the hols. And it’s packed with great dating rules, like “Do not text when drunk”.


What’s not to love?