What in the world is dear wife reading now?! (She reads so omnivorously that I consider most people's tastes pretty narrow in comparison.) I picked up this book (different edition and cover in our case - from one of the three libraries who store a measurable percentage of their books in our house - late fees? we should be charging them rent) and opened it at random to get a taste. Weird stuff, very British, very girly, diary format. I read for twenty pages or so and put it down.
"So are you going to watch the movie with me?" asked dear wife a day later.
"Bridget Jones's Diary" (she meant a DVD from Netflix).
"It's weird, and I didn't like any of the characters. I don't think I really want to know what else they get into. I read some of the stuff with Daniel, and that's enough for me."
It turns out Daniel is played by Hugh Grant in the movie. Not my favorite.
But a day later dear wife had finished the book and was even more set on seeing the movie (starring Renee Zellweger - who's face appears on the copy of the book that's been in our house). I picked up the book again later that day and read another thirty or forty pages. I began to get into the main character's head, and actually understood her ups and downs, her various delusions and emotional binges. Actually I'm kind-of like her at times, and I found this funny, weird, alarming, and disarming all at once.
And then I had to see how it turns out. I mean I never had much doubt after about the half-way mark, but I needed to read the details. It's satisfying, to me, to know that things will turn out as they ought (so I'm not in suspense or worried about anyone) but to have no idea how anyone will get there. By the end I was just having fun, and enjoying the bizarre characters very much. The diary format and headings on each entry work incredibly well, and are quite funny and endearing by the end. I really was rooting for Bridge, and loving her friends (especially Tom, who is one of the girls, really) even as I kept rolling my eyes at each dizzy headed idea gone haywire. How can she hold onto so many nutty notions?
I'll be watching the movie. Hugh Grant plays just the right character, in my opinion, and Colin Firth plays the right one, as well. Should be fun. Can't wait to see how Gemma Jones plays "Bridget's Mum." And I'd like to see Renee Z as something other than Roxie Hart (Chicago). Hard to get that role out of my head...