Helen Fielding is older, wiser,

and so is Bridget Jones

Moira Macdonald | Seattle Times - October 24, 2013

Dear reader: Today we bring you a review of Helen Fielding’s latest Bridget Jones book, “Mad About the Boy,” written by Seattle Times movie critic, Moira Macdonald, who has perhaps seen the Bridget Jones films one too many times.

© Alisa Connan

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Calories/alcohol units not noted (is no one’s business). Number of Twitter followers 24, number of actual tweets sent 0 (must get round to that). Effect of time spent in a.m. trying to make bangs alluringly sideswept in manner of female cast of “Scandal”: not v. good (strangely pointy). Number of Diet Coke cans on desk 7 (not bad).

9 a.m.
At work. Asked to review new Helen Fielding book: “Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.” Hmm, how old is Bridget now? Whatever happened to Renée Zellweger? Where has Hugh Grant been? And ... oh, right, book. Absolutely. Will get right to it.

9:15 a.m.
Pondering random email from movie publicist, puzzlingly beginning “Hi Lisa!”

9:20 a.m.
Yes. Book.

9:45 a.m.
Suppose must say SPOILER ALERT here. (Must one say that if in first 25 pages?) Mark Darcy is dead. Bridget is 51-year-old widow with two small children. Mark Darcy is dead. Feel strangely bereft. Hope someone has (gently) informed Colin Firth. Is there a Bridget Jones without a Mark Darcy? Feel that this is great philosophical question for our time.

11:30 a.m.
A bit further along. Mark has been gone five years. Children have nits. Mother still difficult. Jude still tormenting Vile Richard. Daniel Cleaver is children’s godfather (v. poor judgment on Bridget’s part). All predictable, yet good fun, like gathering with friends. Enjoy Fielding’s snappy, abbreviated Bridget voice; book droops a bit when narrative becomes more conventional. May be just me.

12:30 p.m.
Falsely recognized at lunch counter as frequent extra-taco-getter. Horrified but did not want to argue with nice cashier. Made great Bridget-like show of paying separately for extra, as is for colleague. Next time will have small burrito.

4 p.m.
Bridget, having entered 21st century, struggles with drunk texting, obsessive Twitter-follower-watching, drunk tweeting (#twunk). Is also dating v. young man and writing contemporary screenplay adaptation of “Hedda Gabler.” All believable except last bit, particularly as Bridget thinks “Hedda G” written by Chekhov.

7 p.m.
Had to put down book for screening. All through “The Counselor,” wondered how screenplay would be different if B. Jones wrote.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

9 a.m.
Appreciate Bridget’s approach to finishing screenplay. “Have just got to do the ending. And the middle bit. And sort out the start.”

1:30 p.m.
Bridget struggles with idea of “now realize everyone has floaty bohemian scarves double-looped round their neck.” Tries to follow suit. Small daughter asks why Mummy has tea towel round neck.

3 p.m.
Ah. Think know who Bridget’s happily-ever-after might be. Will just have Diet Coke now.

5 p.m.
Am not getting slightly tearful at Bridget’s memories of Christmases past, esp. those with Mark and new baby. Have, um, something in eye.

5:30 p.m.
The end. Suspect last we will see of Bridget Jones, unless rumored third movie ever gets made. A nice send-off. Didn’t realize had missed her.

Moira Macdonald can be reached at 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com. She is nothing like Bridget Jones.