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January 10, 2005 // UPDATED 1:47 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Self-recognizance

I hated "Bridget Jones's Diary." Everyone I know thinks is weird because I love England, diaries and even the name Bridget. Most of all, I enjoy Jane Austen's sardonic novel "Pride and Prejudice." But I cringed all the way through Bridget Jones's (played by Renee Zellweger) finicky foibles. Despite the absurdity of some of her "I Love Lucy"-ish antics, it was still a little too close to home for me.

Frankly, Bridget's nerves made me nervous. I felt anxious when she did. When her voice got shaky, my face flushed. I lived vicariously through her horrors. When she looked in the mirror and didn't like what she saw, she grimaced the way I do when I feel ugly - fuzzy edges and all. Bridget's life was so fragile - she was subject to all manner of mishaps at any moment. She had control over some stuff while at other times, it seemed as if her life were booby-trapped. Moments of sheer awkwardness, like a step that was too heavy or too fast, turned into humiliating spectacles.

Despite the play set-like feel of the backdrop (like her parent's home), her failed attempts to say or do the right things at the right times are just so human. Not like most of the well-lit glamour girls of the silver screen, whose collective flawlessness and charms are somehow much easier to watch.

It's just not normal to see someone I can identify with on the screen.

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m. Brit's Pub Film Series, 1110 Nicollet Mall. Free. 332-3908.

Mommy Dearest

Talk about complexes. It's hard to understand what to do with the moral of a story like "Oedipus," in which evils implode by way of seemingly harmless events.

You won't leave the theater feeling fulfilled or at peace. More likely, you'll be conflicted. A little unsettled.

This modernized adaptation turns Oedipus into a metaphor for the American mind, showing how morals become corroded and convoluted. We see citizenship, democracy and identity get screwed up, while the definitions of "hero" and "criminal" and "pure" and "dirty" get blurred, too.

Perhaps the worst part then, is how easy it is for us to lose sight of things - and to ignore the weather forecast.

Tuesdays-Fridays, Jan. 15-Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sundays 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (alternately). Guthrie Theater, 725 Vineland Pl. $19-$49. 377-2224.