First of all, I'd like to declare that I am NOT a Bridget Jones movie fan, or if there are books not a Bridget Jones book fan either, and I shall talk a lot of trash about the franchise in this article just to proof how much I dislike it. Got it?
So as a fun experiment, I watched all three Bridget Jones movies in three days, in chronological order: Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), and Bridget Jones's Baby (2016). (Sidenote: the name Bridget looks and sounds more and more weird the more I look at it.) A few things happened as a direct result of watching the series. I shall list what I noticed and do a full analysis below.
- Bridget is an embarrassing character that literally no woman can relate to.
- Mark Darcy is a masochist.
- The third movie has no Bridget Jones in it.
Let's start with point 1. It is somehow assumed that movie makers deliberately shape their protagonists so that the target audience can identify with them. But there's nothing about Bridget Jones that I like, or can relate to, or admire. And that's the point. The character is such a terrible mess that the target audience - women aged 20 to 50 - see her as an inferior creature. The viewer, however badly they have messed up their life, are still above Bridget in every way. And if they wanted, they could steal Mark Darcy away from her, leaving her with nothing good in her life. It's the evolutionary psychology of women: they compete with each other, at all times, in every way - something the makers of the Bridget Jones movies have smartly understood.
Moving on to point 2. Mark Darcy is way too good to Bridget - an intelligent and good-looking human rights lawyer with manners and ambition. He could get literally anyone, but because he has some deep issues in his subconscious, he returns to her every time, between and after every failed marriage. In a way, Mark is like the character Stavrogin in Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel Devils: a man who is so desperate to find a soul inside of himself that he does cruel things and marries lowly creatures just to see if self-disgust is awaken somewhere deep within. Mark is regularly ashamed of Bridget, but does that ever make him ashamed of himself? Is there a soul inside?
Point 3: Bridget Jones's Baby features no Bridget. The manners are there; the way to move and speak are there; but the actor Renée Zellweger looks so different from the previous movies that I saw a stranger. I don't know what she's done to alter her looks so drastically but there's no Bridget Jones in her face anymore. I believe the character finally reached her ideal weight, and I believe she aged in 12 years, but there's no way the character's appearance changed naturally that way between movies 2 and 3. And Bridget Jones wouldn't have gone under the knife. Renée perhaps, but not Bridget.
I have to admit the movies are funny. Colin Firth is handsome. Hugh Grant is hilarious. You get to laugh, at least a couple of times. And perhaps I'm not the right person to judge people who actually made movies, instead of just thinking about it.