To talk about my favourite chicklit hero, I also have to talk about my favourite chicklit anti-hero. Outside of my own books, they just have to be Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver from Bridget Jones’ Diary. Was there ever a more perfect combo of men to choose from? Helen Fielding was inspired when she made these men the object of the hapless Bridget Jones’s affection. They were as hot as it got. Yet, what a choice. The straight-laced, up-tight Mark Darcy or the reckless, bad boy, Daniel Cleaver? Which way would you go? No wonder poor Bridget was always in a spin. Spending my teen years reading Jackie Collins’ novels has always made me come down on the side of the bad boy. But Mark Darcy! How could anyone turn him down? Sigh. The book also gave hope to less than perfect women – much like my good self – hope that there was a fantastic Mark Darcy-esque man out there for us all. If Bridget could snare her man, then why couldn’t we do it too? The books also captured, perfectly, the mood of the time and it was why they were such a huge success.
Of course, Ms Fielding’s portrayal of the two men was only enhanced by the perfect casting of Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in the resultant movies. Both characters were endearingly portrayed for all their flaws. It’s not often that the film equals the quality of the book but with Richard Curtis at the helm, both movies are a total joy. It’s often possible to flick through the channels at midnight, just before you’re heading off to bed, and find that Bridget is on there somewhere. It’s fatal – that’s me for the next two hours. I just can’t pass up a chance to watch them.
And I hear that Bridget is bouncing back with a vengeance. There’s talk of a third book and a film with Bridget having a baby – but by which man? There’s also a musical on the way. With the exception of Mamma Mia, I’m not a huge fan of the contemporary way of producing a musical. Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You – they all feel a bit forced. I wonder will this book work as a musical. But it’s certainly one that I’ll be queuing up to buy a ticket for! But who on earth will they get to play Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver?