Tuesday 2 October 2018

Brigid Jones' Baby & A.A. Gill's Film

B.A. suggested it, and I crumbled at once and said we could subscribe to the super-basic version of Netflix. Then, after a companionable watching of "Suits", I watched Bridget Jones' Baby after B.A. went to bed.

Although it was a funny movie, it made me very sad, and I had a hard time getting to sleep afterwards. It was not just that Bridget looked so old, it was also that Mark Darcy looked so old. The ending of the film was mostly satisfying, but I got the sense that both Bridget and Mark had squandered so much of their lives. Also they looked terribly old, and if Renee Zellweger looks like that in her mid-to-late 40s, what must the rest of us over-40s look like?

I mean no disrespect to Ms Zellweger, by the way. I have no interest in resurrecting the what-did-she-do-to-her-face debate. And I wish to emphasise how old Colin Firth also looked. If he meant to play Mark Darcy as a man who was outwardly successful but was inside a howling void, he succeeded.

"It's so awful getting old," my grandmother told me, but it is also awful to watch others getting old. Well, such is the human condition, and we must be brave about it.

As I was feeling very wired from watching aged Bridget have a baby at 43, which I myself was not able to do--something else to be brave about--I picked up volume called  The Best of A.A. Gill.

A.A. Gill indirectly saved B.A.'s life by writing that he went to the doctor with a neck-ache that turned out to be cancer. After reading that, B.A. went to the doctor with a neck-ache that also turned out to be cancer, only the non-malignant kind that doesn't spread. But as I have written many times before, it is not wholly benign. Had B.A. not had his pains checked out, he would have died of hydrocephaly by now, probably in his sleep, and I would have woken up beside a corpse. Not a happy thought.

Anyway, besides indirectly saving B.A.'s life, A.A. Gill was a very clever and amusing writer, whose works I would recommend wholeheartedly, were it not for the fact that he wrote a p/r/on film. While reading his essay on the topic, I wasn't sure exactly what he was describing, and then I was sure, and I was neither impressed nor amused. It astonished me that someone who could write so passionately about the sufferings of refugees could be so indifferent to the acute degradation of the performers in his film.

Once again I am decidedly underwhelmed by contemporary British artefacts/pop culture, but at least there will an exhibit of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts at the British Library this winter so splendid that it will be worth our while to travel down to London to see it.


  1. Have you read the Bridget Jones books? The third one is totally different from Bridget Jones's Baby. I don't think I'm spoiling it too much (since this happens within the first three pages or so) but Bridget is widowed when Mark is suddenly killed overseas, and so the book is her and her mother (also widowed) picking up their lives. It's still funny in parts, but a lot more somber/thoughtful than the first two books. Worth a read if you liked the first installments.

    1. Addendum: Actually it might hit a little too close to home given BA's recent health scare. So maybe don't read it. But do know that Bridget Jones's Baby is a huge departure from the actual trilogy!

    2. Hi Christine, I have read the first two Bridget Jones books and enjoyed them very much. They are wonderfully funny. I am not sure I'm ready for "Mad About the Boy" yet. The idea of Bridget losing her husband, the father of her children, and then embarking on an affair with a much younger man does not appeal.

  2. A few thoughts...

    1) the third book is horrible because there's not enough mourning Mark (I'd totally take a tearjerker of a tragedy if it had been that), and way too much the annoying new love interest BUT: there's an absolutely hilarious scene involving Daniel Cleaver that I SOOOOO want to see actually happen on screen (but I doubt Hugh Grant would ever want to film).

    2) I actually thought Colin was almost better looking in this one than in the previous Bridget Jones movies. I mean not at his peak, that would be The Importance of Being Earnest/What A Girl Wants/Love Actually (oh how I miss the curls!), but there was something that Mark Darcy was missing in the earlier ones for me. (Then again, I'm not particularly a Bridget Jones fan... if they didn't star Colin Firth I'd have no reason to watch them...)

    3) I thought the scene where Bridget sees the baby on the ultrasound was THE MOST pro-life scene I've seen in a movie of this sort. Like I'm sure that's not what the movie creators intended but... wow it was very powerful to me...

    1. Point 3 is sooo true, and I keep thinking of that myself. There is so much to love, including how Bridget refuses to risk having a miscarriage by being poked with that awful amniocentesis needle. Saying "You remember Bridget's scan" should become part of pro-life witness!

  3. I love Renne’s movies but I haven’t read the books at all , mrs Jones Diaries my favorite