Secrets from "Bridget Jones's Diary'

Published May 1, 2001|Updated Sept. 9, 2005

Bridget Jones's Diary reached No. 1 at the box office this week, partly as a result of people going to see it again and again. Part of the fun for repeat viewers is catching all the in-jokes related to Jane Austen's novels. The entire plot of the original Bridget Jones book is based on Pride and Prejudice, while the sequel, The Edge of Reason, is based on Persuasion.

(Similarly, the movie Clueless was based on Austen's Emma.)

But beyond that, the movie contains clever casting and cameos, using actors from movies based on Austen's novels. Crispin Bonham-Carter, for instance, appears so briefly in several scenes that he has become a sort of "Where's Waldo?" for fans.

So herewith, gentle reader, we present Bridget Jones's Trivia.

Colin Firth is a freebie, since he's just too obvious. Mark Darcy is based on Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Colin Firth, of course, played Mr. Darcy in the BBC's 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice. As he pointed out in a Today Show interview, "I'm playing somebody who's based on a character in a book who's based on a role that I played who's based on a character in a book. So I'm like one of those Escher drawings."

Bridget Jones's Questions

1. Spot Mr. Bingley at least once.

2. Loathsome boss Daniel Cleaver based on Jane Austen character. Who?

3. Bridget is not literary pariah as previously feared. Proved capable of directly quoting Jane Austen in which line?

4. V. appropriate to dump Hugh Grant in river. Why?

5. Publishing company called "Pemberley Press." Why?

6. Reindeer-clad Mark Darcy v. rude to call Bridget "a verbally incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish and dresses like her mother." Was update of what line?

7. Loathsome-boss portrayer Hugh Grant was less loathsome in other Jane Austen role. Which?

8. Spot Bingley again.

9. What is "the Look"?

10. Snobbish, conniving Natasha based on what Austen character?

11. Was v. cunning to cast Embeth Davidtz as snobbish, conniving Natasha. Why?

12. Spot Bingley third time.

13. Mark Darcy's rather incoherent speech about liking Bridget despite having "elements of the ridiculous" about her is update of what scene?

14. Scatterbrained mum Gemma Jones has played Jane Austen scatterbrained mum before. When?

15. Jane Austen never had dirty limericks in her novel. Who provided the one used in movie?

16. Horrid blue soup not at all the thing to serve. What color soup would most oblige Miss Austen?

17. Must learn more from other fans.

Bridget Jones's Answers

1. Crispin Bonham-Carter, who played Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, is talking to Salman Rushdie at the launch party.

2. George Wickham, the cad who tries to elope with Mr. Darcy's underage sister in P&P, slanders Darcy as the bad guy to Elizabeth Bennet, and later runs off with Elizabeth's underage sister.

3. "It is a truth universally acknowledged" (Echoes the opening line of P&P: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.")

4. He spoofs Colin Firth's scene in a sexy wet shirt in P&P. In the BJD books, Bridget and her chums watch that scene over and over.

5. Pemberley is the name of Mr. Darcy's estate in P&P.

6. After Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet at a dance in P&P, she overhears him saying, "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men."

7. Steadfast Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility.

8. Crispin Bonham-Carter appears in Bridget's wedding fantasy scene. He's wearing a red tie.

9. How P&P fans refer to Colin Firth's intense, lovesick expression, which he reprises in BJD. See "the Look" at http://www2.hunterlink.

10. The snobbish, conniving Caroline Bingley in P&P, who fails to marry Mr. Darcy.

11. Embeth Davidtz played the snobbish, conniving Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park.

12. Crispin Bonham-Carter is the co-worker holding the poster when Bridget quits her job.

13. In P&P, Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth Bennet to marry him while simultaneously insulting her entire family. She is not amused.

14. Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility.

15. Colin Firth. And we thought he was such a nice boy.

16. White soup was traditional at Austen-era dances.

17. See /bin/virtview/virtview.cgi/

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.