Why is Bridget Jones regarded as a film starring ‘Britain’s foremost fictional everywoman’ considering how utterly unsuitable a heroine Bridget is?
The titular character is made unlikable by her complicity to the continuous degradation of women in the film, herself included. This deeply contradicts what Bridget’s supposed to represent; a woman enjoying ‘the fruits that feminism has borne’, her independence, apartment and successful career. Yet she’s still self-loathing, still pursues the affections of love interests who label her a ‘bitch’ and ‘ridiculous’, although admittedly as the film proceeds it’s hard to argue with the latter.
Most appalling is the way she accepts the casual groping of her ‘Uncle Geoffrey’, the leers of ‘Mr. Tits Pervert’, and the implication that career women ‘can’t seem to hold down their chaps’ without verbal complaint. Sure, she rolls her eyes, lets viewers know what she thinks of them, but she fails to confront the issue. In short, Bridget Jones lacks a back bone. It’s hard to believe many consider this film as comedic when it presents such a nonchalant attitude towards sexual harassment.
When insinuating herself as a ‘tragic spinster’ at the absolutely ancient age of 32 (note the sarcasm), Bridget insults all single women, the screen-writers having forgotten that it is the 21st Century. Then again as the film’s considered by many a modern-day adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, references to practically archaic terms shouldn’t be surprising. Although, how anyone could suggest Bridget’s character is on par with Elizabeth’s is beyond me. Whilst both are judgmental (I rather liked Darcy’s reindeer sweater), Bridget lacks Elizabeth’s intelligence.
Take for example her ‘relationship’ with her boss who didn’t meet her criteria of ‘nice and sensible’. Yet she somehow goes from recognizing him as a ‘commitment phobic’ and ‘emotional fuckwit’ to claiming he’s ‘perfect’? Can she really be so blinded by lust?
All in all, I struggle with why Bridget Jones’s Diary is so acclaimed. If Jones is an ‘everywoman’, I fear for the future of the female sex.