“Dear diary, I’ve failed again, I’ve poured an enormous glass of Chardonnay and I’m going to put my head in the oven.” -Bridget Jones’s Diary
(My) Wine Thoughts: I cannot get the phrase “Cougar juice” out of my head. I keep picturing older women in Florida who are very tan, have big hair and are into younger men being thrilled with this stuff (not that there’s anything negative with any of those descriptors) but it’s just who I envision and its def. not me. This tastes like artificial pineapple candy (to me) with a very strong acid. Burns my mouth, isnt tart but the aftertaste packs a punch. Like getting sunscreen in your mouth. Admittedly, I felt buzzed from this one sugary glass but I chalk that up to not being much of a drinker, and genetics. Overall, this wine was as sad as the moment when B.J. cries into her wine singing “All by Myself” in her robe alone. I’m not into this particular “expression” it but I like buttery “non-authentic” Chardonnays so this isn’t my taste. 2 stars.
(My) Movie Thoughts: I grew up with this movie and read the book, but rewatching it I couldn’t help but think that B.J. is so naive and kinda codependent (for being in her 30s). I’m glad she had limits for crappy, abusive behavior (don’t get me started on Fifty Shades of Grey) but c’mon your boss hitting on you and being generally aggressive is probably not a great basis for a stable relationship. At the same time, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth even with their poofy 90s hair still hold up….like fine wine. What I find funny is how I completely missed Mark Darcy’s (Colin Firth) total lack of social graces as a teenager. I fangirled like crazy. Much like Pride and Prejudice’s (what B.J.D is based on) Lord Darcy, he spends half of his screen time insulting the protagonist and her family, is pretty dull, makes awkward stoic eye contact and is kind of an elitist. Then, halfway through the movie he professes his love for her in this mess of a dialogue (although to be fair P&P’s Lord Darcy was actually much worse to Elizabeth Bennett). My being blind to his flaws is as ridiculous as being oblivious to Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock i.e. rude and completely lacking social skills… Dear boyfriend pointed out my cognitive dissonance and teased me using his Robot Darcy voice. “Darcy attracted – Darcy insult- Darcy deep stare”. Oh well! At least I’m no longer attracted to characters who berate their love interests and send them mixed messages. 3 Stars.
(My)Comparison: Maybe my palate is actually more complex than I originally thought. I probably would have loved this wine 7 years ago, but I have more developed opinions and a much more sensitive stomach. I feel similarly about Bridget Jones’s Diary. I think I’ve grown past it. While I do think it’s sweet and feel nostalgically drawn towards it, I can’t relate to its naivety and campiness the way I could during my youth.
Fun Wine Fact: Apparently this movie destroyed Chardonnay sales in the 90s. A sad, single, “spinster” (probably one of the most anti-feminist tropes ever) wasn’t a sexy enough poster child for Chardonnay, apparently.
(My)My Weekly Winner: For me the winner is still the film. My inner teenager is attracted to automaton Mark Darcy. Ignoring all of the bright red flags and bringing on the dissonance. Oh stoic, socially inept, dapper Darcy be still my misguided heart.
(W’s) Wine Thoughts: The task of selecting a specific bottle of chardonnay for this particular film was mine this week. As I was driving to Oliver’s and listening to some classic 90s grunge I had an epiphany: What if we removed bias from the equation, presented a sales associate with a price range and varietal and let them suggest a bottle? What if? The answer to this question is six dollars and ninety-nine cents worth of California chardonnay. Which means I was left with enough cash to buy my lady a Charleston Chew and return to the apartment as a champion.
Truth be told I was fairly sick when we watched and drank this week’s selection. Because of that I limited myself to a small splash of wine (because I have a guilt complex and didn’t want to disappoint my doctor). Upon sticking my schnoz into that little goblet I smelled: warm caramel, peach cobbler, apple juice and Band-Aid. The latter two offering a nice nostalgic reminder of my sugary, elbow scraped childhood.
Putting the wine into my mouth I tasted: Really expensive decadent apple juice and a Motts/Minute Maid level of sugar, marshmallow, roasty toasty brioche and, like, this very specific summer sausage/salami thing. Like a weird sandwich I would drunkenly make at 3 am.
(W’s) Movie Thoughts: In short, boozy spinster feels sorry for herself and chooses to change her life as part of her New Year’s Resolution. Along the way she is equally encouraged and discouraged in this task thanks to her small group of hilariously english friends and the savant like, but well intended, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and the sweet sweet (albeit loveless) loving of Daniel Cleaver played by the original McDreamy, Hugh Grant. And honestly, against my better judgement, the more Chardonnay I drank the more I fell in love with Daniel Cleaver. Even though my partner has made me suffer though the film before…I mean even though I’ve enjoyed previous viewings with my partner, I found myself entranced by this romancer. This cassanova of the 90s and early 2000s! However as my stomach turned with Band-Aid juice I realized the error of my ways and sided with Bridget. And I realized the movie is a love letter to those of us who struggle with the superficial, who find love in the wrong places and always at the wrong time, in the case of Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy anyway. Finally I felt rewarded when Mark Darcy beats Cleaver, not with his wits as a top barrister but with his fists as a socially awkward child would do. I felt as though this love story has hope and a potential happy ending in the subsequent sequels which I will hopefully never have to see. Truly, I felt a sense of peace knowing that Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy found love and that they would finally come together, like a weird sandwich I would drunkenly make at 3 am. 2 ½ stars
(W’s) Comparison: A 21st century take on a classic piece of literature that, perhaps, would have shined if left in someone else’s hands. And the chardonnay? A 21st century take on a classic Burgundy varietal that, perhaps, you will regret drinking as much as I did. But then again who can say no to a bargain? $6.99? That’s like getting the chance to cast the same unenthusiastic actor from Pride and Prejudice (1995) in the same role in the revamped remake…oh that’s what they did…
(W’s) My Weekly Winner: It’s a toss up for me. I got to drink wine, I got to see a Hugh Grant movie. That’s a win-win. I know, I know, I can hear you saying, “but, how can you be so apathetic?!” Ok fair enough, my winner Bridget Jones Diary. There exists no other film in which the dashing yet dignified Hugh Grant gets his beautiful blue eyes smacked around by Rain Man, uh I mean Colin Firth.
The weekly winner is Bridget Jones’s Diary!
A votre santé!
Fetzer Chardonnay, Sundial 2015, California
Fielding, Helen. Bridget Jones’s Diary: A Novel. New York: Viking, 1998. Print.
Bridget Jones’s Diary. Dir.Sharon Maguire. Miramax, Universal Pictures, 2001. Film.