Living In: Bridget Jones’s Diary

In the world of 2013, nearly everyone’s personal information is available for all to see. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or a blog, it’s become common practice to air out your deepest thoughts and dirtiest laundry for the world’s viewing pleasure. It might seem hard to believe that this was not always the case. Long before blogs and social networks reigned supreme, people collected their thoughts and secrets not on pixelated forums but in paper diaries and planners. Today, the clothbound diary seems almost as quaint as the typewriter or the rotary telephone. Still, there are some who choose to rely on its tried-and-true privacy, reliability and efficacy. Indeed, even in a time populated with magical touchscreens and mind-blowing apps, nothing really comes close to the intimacy of the paper journal, an object that allows you to draw, dream and dish to the only audience member that really matters: yourself. To honor the long-lost and sorely needed art of diary keeping, we’re highlighting one of our favorite fictional diarists — the bold, brash and delightfully uncensored Bridget Jones.

The creation of British novelist Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones first made her way into people’s homes in a weekly newspaper column — a fictional chronicle of a single 30-something woman struggling to strike the right balance in life and love. Bridget’s unabashedly honest diary entries included not just glimpses into her daily life but an ongoing record of her weight, alcohol intake and cigarette consumption. For people who were at a similar point in their lives, Bridget’s humorous trials and tribulations were both welcome and familiar. Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary column soon garnered enough attention to warrant a book. Loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones’s Diary followed Bridget as she juggled work, life and the advances of the devilish Daniel Cleaver and the dreamy Mark Darcy. The book was given the Hollywood treatment in 2001 with a film starring Renée Zellweger as the clumsy blonde Bridget. With a performance that received not just critical accolades but an Academy Award nomination, Zellweger proved that the handy-dandy diary is always the best fashion accessory. — Max

1. Moleskine 2013 Diary, $16.95 | 2. Shot Glasses, $15.87/pack of 12 | 3. Mini-Gherkins, $10.90 | 4. Red Chaise Settee, $431.99 | 5. Fatal Attraction DVD, $6.97 | 6. The Essential Chaka Khan, $13.94 | 7. Heart Necklace, $50 | 8. Starburst Mirror, $439

The full post continues after the jump . . .

1. Bunny Ears Ring, $29.25 | 2. Blue String, $10.90 | 3. Kitchen Timer, $11.90 | 4. Spanx, $36 | 5. Fiesta Crock, $44.99 | 6. Benjamin Moore English Hyacinth Paint | 7. Benjamin Moore Pistachio Paint | 8. Tara Stripe 7502 Wallpaper | 9. Scale, $108.90

Film: Bridget Jones’s Diary

Year: 2001

Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant

Director: Sharon Maguire

Set Decorator: Shirley Lixenberg

Costume Design: Rachael Fleming

  1. Fatima says:

    I love that movie and the old way you keep your thoughts and secrets in a diary…. (sigh)

  2. Emily says:

    Love it! What a wonderfully quirky set of goodies! :)

  3. Malina says:

    Haha, cool. I love Bridget and her little London flat. Especially the blue wall paper with dots caught my eye.

  4. Allison says:

    Ha! I love that you included blue string! I’m going home and watching this DVD tonight. It’s been far too long.

  5. Vicki says:

    One of the best movies! Loved the post!!

  6. One of the best movies EVER! Lovely post!

  7. Hilde says:

    I was just watching this movie the other night and though to myself “ah, Design Sponge should do a living in feature on this film”. Love it!

  8. Darina says:

    I love this. The Spanx made me laugh! Funny story: my husband (of 3 months!) was doing laundry and happened to come across my Spanx one day. I explained to him that even Bridget Jones wears them, and that I love that movie, so he bought me the Blu Ray version :)

  9. What a refreshing post, everyone loves a bit of Bridget Jones. Anyone would think Renee was British! She is superb!
    Funny you should say this, I have purchased a diary this year to encourage me to keep track of everything better, it’s been great at helping me organise my life and outline some annual goals!

  10. Jen says:

    You forgot the Silk Cuts :)

  11. Kellee says:

    I loved this post. Very clever writing. Thanks!

  12. Katie says:

    Just last night I was puttering around my apartment with the phrase “Aghani-Heany” stuck in my head. Perfect timing for this post.

  13. I can’t get enough of this Movie!!! Definitely a guilty pleasure

  14. Emily says:

    I love that you included Spanx.

  15. Sofia says:

    I loooove these books so much. I actually just reread them and they still make me laugh out loud. I though the movies were so disappointing though! I am still upset about it!

    Love your living in though:)

  16. kelly rae says:

    One of my favorite films!

  17. Klaudia says:

    I love Bridget Jones, the best romantic comedy ever.
    Also I love her little brit style flat. Especially the blue wall paper. I search someone like that for my little office room.
    I’m german but I love it.

  18. KatFromJersey says:

    Love this movie, and love Renee as Bridget. I don’t know why people give her such noise… she’s brilliant! And Colin Firth vs. Hugh Grant… what a conundrum!

  19. sheri says:

    Yup. I know this movie by heart and watch it over and over and over (to my husband’s dismay) … LOVE IT. Gives me confidence watching her character bumble around in mortifying situations – being SO human and unperfectly perfect.

    “the intimacy of the paper journal, an object that allows you to draw, dream and dish to the only audience member that really matters: yourself. ” = love this


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