I read and watched Bridget Jones's Diary for The Everything Austen Challenge at Stephanie's Written Word. I've had this book forever, but always had trouble getting past the fact that 130 pounds is considered fat in the book. Having not been that weight for quite some time, I've had a hard time relating to Bridget in thinking that was overweight.
When I went to read the book this time, the main problem I had with the book was that I had seen the movie too many times and realized that it didn't really follow the book at all. There were plenty of lol moments in the book, and I liked the format of the book being in the form of a diary. In the book, her friends are mentioned much more, and so are her parents. I think if I had read this book before seeing the movie so many times I probably would have liked it more. This book also had one of my major pet peeves in a chick lit/romance book: not having the main female character falling in love or noticing the main male character until the last 100 pages of the book.
While watching the movie after reading the book I started counting the number of differences between the two. (Bridget gets her job in tv b/c of her mom, and Mark Darcys human rights case is completely different then the one mentioned in the movie.) I eventually stopped because I realized that the two were really completely different creatures and started enjoying the movie for what it was. I also think it's interesting that Hugh Grant was cast as Daniel Cleaver b/c in the book his prostitute scandal was mentioned and he was dissed for it. I can see now why everyone thought that it was cool that Colin Firth played Mark Darcy as he is also mentioned in the book for his role as Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. I have to say that Renee Zellweger did a wonderful job playing Bridget. She captured her perfectly!
My advice to those who read the book after only having seen the movie is to forget that you've seen the movie, and enjoy the book on it's own.
Austen themes: On the surface the book isn't at all like Pride/Prejudice, but if you look a bit deeper you can see the comparisons. I'm sure I missed a lot because I didn't really delve into that much, but here is what I found:
Bridget Jones's Mother-She is a lot like Mrs. Bennet in P/P-she just wants her daughter married.
Daniel Cleaver-I saw him as Wickham. Someone pretending to be wronged but really did the wronging to someone else.
Mark Darcy-Obviously Mr. Darcy :) Proud and arrogant, and misunderstood until the end.
Bridget-I think she was based on Elizabeth Bennet, but I could see all of the Bennet sisters in her.