The holidays are finally here! That means Christmas parties, family gatherings, turkey curry buffets…
Er…okay. Maybe most of us have only experienced that last one through Bridget Jones’s Diary. And sure, Bridget describes Una Alconbury’s annual gathering as a pretty painful experience, but anyone who has followed the adventures of Helen Fielding’s groundbreaking heroine will tell you just how amazing a turkey curry buffet can be. Why? Because Mark Darcy is there, and Mark Darcy is the kind of guy who can work his way to the top of everyone’s Christmas lists. (Singletons and smug marrieds alike.) Since no one at a holiday party has ever looked better in a diamond-patterned sweater and bumblebee socks, Mark is the clear choice for our Literary Hunk of December.
There are so many things to love about Mark Darcy, starting with the fact that he is even more swoon-worthy than the legendary character he was based on. Unlike Jane Austen’s Darcy, this Darcy is much more approachable and a little less insulting. (Please note: I love Fitzwilliam Darcy. Beyond love him. But the man’s got to work on his social skills.) Is Mark Darcy awkward? A little. Does he seem unable to start a conversation with anything other than, “Have you read any good books lately?” Sure. Does he make questionable fashion choices? Absolutely—but just remember that the goofy clothes he wears are gifts, and rather than returning them for store credit, he rocks them at parties and makes the gift-givers happy. If that doesn’t melt your heart a little, what will?
Okay, maybe this will: He’s a top barrister who will totally save your day (and your job as a TV reporter) by granting you an exclusive interview with his client just because he fancies you. He’ll help you whip up omelets at your dinner party so people will have something to eat after that blue soup debacle. He’ll go out of his way to make sure someone finds you a change of clothes when you show up in costume to a Tarts and Vicars party that is no longer a Tarts and Vicars party. If you get into a bit of a pickle and land in a jail in Bangkok, he’s your guy—but he won’t make a big deal about it. You’ll have to find out about everything he did from your friends, because that’s how he rolls. He’s just as comfortable whisking you away for a secret Christmas lunch as he is at catching con artists named Julio. He’s a complete and utter dreamboat, as long as you don’t mind the trail of long-legged ladies who are always trying to snatch him up.
The main reason Helen Fielding’s books are so popular is because readers adore Bridget Jones. She’s flawed. She drinks and swears and scrapes mold off of old cheese. She can’t seem to keep her mouth shut when she really, really should. She’s imperfectly perfect, and Mark Darcy loves that about her. He likes her just as she is, and any man who understands what a catch Bridget Jones is is worth keeping around.
So if you’re at a turkey curry buffet this year—or any holiday party, really—and happen to see a guy in loud socks and a really festive sweater, don’t write him off just yet. He could be another—ding dong!—Mark Darcy. Or he could just be someone with a really unique fashion sense. Of course, there’s only one true Mark Darcy, and the good thing is we always know where to find him–right on the page, asking if Bridget’s read any good books lately.
And when Mark Darcy’s in it? It’s always a good book.
Just as good as Mark Darcy on the page is Mark Darcy on screen. Colin Firth is everything a girl could dream of in Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. No one could pull off a reindeer jumper any better.