Bridget Jones is not a 1950s Housewife | Sarah King

Because Hurricane Matthew dictated that I stay inside on Saturday, I did something I hadn’t done in a while – I went to the movies with my mom. Our choice of film? Bridget Jones’s Baby. Even though it didn’t get the best reviews (in America, at least), I laughed until I cried and was overall very pleased when I left the theater.

bridgetjonesbaby

Image from: lifenews.com

Here’s the gist of the movie: single 43-year-old Bridget Jones discovers she is pregnant after having a one night stand with a random guy at a music festival (Jack) and a relapse with her ex (Mark Darcy) in the same week. She doesn’t know which one of them is the father, so they all go through the pregnancy together while the two men battle for Bridget’s affection. (I won’t give away who the father is in case any of you want to see the movie!)

One scene that really stood out to me was when Bridget goes to see her mother, who is running in a local election. Bridget hasn’t told her mother she was pregnant, even though she is the one always pressuring her to have kids. Her mother is ecstatic until Bridget tells her she doesn’t know who the father is, and her mother makes her stand behind food to hide her pregnancy. Bridget is offended, and tells her “I’m not a 1950s housewife!”

This line in particular resonated with me because of our discussions on the 1950s family life and how the ideal family is portrayed in sitcoms of that time period. This reference makes the point that there is no such thing as a traditional family anymore. Bridget is single, a “geriatric mother,” and involved with more than one man. I think both films and television shows, such as Modern Family, exemplify this shift in family values.

(Also, if you haven’t seen any of the Bridget Jones movies, I highly recommend them!)

-Sarah King

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7 Responses to Bridget Jones is not a 1950s Housewife | Sarah King

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I have not actually seen this movie yet but I have seen so many commercials for it. I would not have know that specific line was in the movie until I read your piece. I think it was clever to add that line as it really demonstrates the changes that have occurred in the last few decades. It also shows the difference in opinion of Bridget and her mom.

    Laya Mohan

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I think this is a great point. It also points to the idea of show runners getting creative to hide their actresses’ pregnancies in the shows to protect some arbitrary story arc instead of writing it into the character. — Serena Daya

    • mediaphiles says:

      Yes! This post really made me think about the hiding of pregnancies in television shows as well. It happens all the time! The most recent example of Scandal where they literally delayed production because of Kerry’s pregnancy. I wonder if this can be fixed though? Should television shows embrace pregnancies? – Katie N

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Although I have not seen the film, I could see how that comment in particular would resonate with you given our recent discussions about gender roles, especially in the 1950s. It is comforting to know that gender roles and the expectations of women have drastically changed since the 50s. Although this film is geared towards older teens and adults, I think it is an important example to set for children to see that women no longer have to conform to the pressures that society placed on them in the 50s. In today’s world, we have become more comfortable with the idea of a single-mother, however, I think there still remains lots of room to evolve and grow in Hollywood and sitcoms! – Eleanor Raether

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with all of the above^. I personally was not going to see the movie but now I’m going to watch the first one and then go see this! I do agree with Serena, it is interesting how screen writers are writing pregnancies into the script. This looks super interesting & I can’t wait to see it!

    -Meghan Murphy

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I looooove all of the Bridget Jones’ movies! I have been wanting to see this one but haven’t gotten around to it. I think it’s so funny that Bridget commented on not hiding her pregnancy, as that has happened a lot in sitcoms over the past few decades. Modern Family comes to mind, as the actress who plays Claire was pregnant in one of the seasons (with twins!) and had to hide it. I have noticed a recent shift in the past few years, though, of incorporating real life pregnancies into the plot of a show.
    -Sam Moore

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I saw this movie a couple Fridays ago. Hilarious. I watched the other two leading up to it. All great. The scene with Darcy carrying Bridget left me in tears. The movie does show a shift in family values, but at the end does it really? Spoilers coming, so I apologize, but at the end she still ends up in a nuclear family. Her mom hides her pregnancy and is ashamed but comes around at the end because it’s helpful for her campaign. I loved the movie and the entire trilogy. I just think the new family values aspect is undone by the end by having a very traditional family system established. Still, hilarious. People should go see it. – Max Dosser

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