Letter: Men as scapegoats

Sir: So, premature spinsterhood afflicts women east of Berlin too, does it? ("Bridget Jones goes to Budapest", 24 November). Having Adam LeBor relay the news doesn't make the analysis any less facile. Once again, men are the problem sex, their fragile egos threatened by independent- minded women. But at least it diverts Bridget's attention from her own inadequacies.

Books: Inspirations Novelist Terry Pratchett

Novelist Terry Pratchett

London Film Festival: Little Voice

Little Voice (dir Mark Herman, starring Jane Horrocks and Michael Caine)

Books: Independent choice - Bridget Jones clones

Welcome to the post-Bridget Jones generation of heroines, invariably single, of fluctuating weight, fond of cardigans and more familiar than is strictly healthy with Saturday night TV schedules. Nothing very "post" about that, you might say. But if Bridget Jones appealed as Everywoman, Jane Green's Jemima J (Penguin, pounds 5.99), Isabel Wolff's The Trials of Tiffany Trott (HarperCollins, pounds 5.99) and Clare Naylor's Catching Alice (Coronet, pounds 5.99) are ambivalent about the extent to which they want their readers to identify with their characters and crises - be it blowing the fuses with the hairdryer, or the all-absorbing search for a man.

All on your Bridget Jones...

Being single is exciting - fashionable, even. Then Christmas comes along...

Profile: Acting the fool - Jim Broadbent

Actor Jim Broadbent talks with James Rampton

Letter: Marvellous Mark

Sir: If both the answers to T Turkson's questions are yes (letter, 4 September), and Bridget Jones accepts his proposal, then I would like to point out that I'd be more than happy to give Mark Darcy all the comfort he needs to help him recover from her rejection.

Letter: Beloved Bridget

Sir: Does Bridget Jones exist? Does she look like the photograph beside her column (Bridget Jones's Diary, 28 August)?

Flying off the outside edge

It's no secret that Brenda Blethyn has just been voted Best Actress at Cannes. But it would be a lie to say that success has gone to her head

BLUE IN THE FACE Wayne Wang / Paul Auster (15) ROUGH MAGIC Clare Peploe (12) MONEY TRAIN Joseph Ruben (18) FRANKIE STARLIGHT Michael Lindsay- Hogg (nc)

Nothing strikes fear into the moviegoer's heart like "improvisation" (except, perhaps, the words "... starring Charlie Sheen"). Too often this technique, employed to conjure up stretches of fluid, unrestrained cinema, actually creates the opposite - stiffly played, sparsely directed longueurs in which people drink coffee and scream a lot. You can glimpse such design flaws every now and then in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's film Blue in the Face, but not often enough to ruin your enjoyment of what is a sassy and jubilant slice of on-the-hoof lunacy.

Classical Music: Sex, Chopin and subterfuge

Jilly Cooper's latest book is a romp through the classical music world. Malcolm Hayes was in on her research

A CRITICAL GUIDE: STAYING IN: VIDEO NEW RELEASES

Bullets Over Broadway (15). The comedy of the year, and one of Woody Allen's best. John Cusack plays a struggling playwright who casts a mobster's girl in order to get the thug to finance his latest play. Allen (for once not starring) and co-writer Douglas McGrath build a flawless comedy from this solid foundation. Chazz Palminteri plays the moll's bodyguard, who turns out to have a talent for writing, rescripting the play to its benefit. Jennifer Tilly is screechily mannered as the dumb girlfriend. And there are exquisite supporting performances from Dianne Wiest's narcissistic drama queen, and Jim Broadbent's compulsively overeating British thespian, wolfing down sandwiches. He brings new humour to eating disorders.

LETTER:Wednesday delight

From Mr John Conway

Dance on film adopts a challenging posture

It's been an unusually fatuous week on television, both in drama and current affairs, which may be why Dance for the Camera (BBC2, all week) feels like relief rather than obligation. The Radio Times described it as "a journey along pathways real a nd imaginary", which under normal circumstances would have me getting out the map to look for an alternative route. In fact the series has been full of little shocks of pleasure, precisely because it gives precedence to bodily impulse over rational clari ty.

One foot in Lady Hester Stanhope's grave

The cast list of Heroes and Villains (BBC1) flags the series's intentions fairly candidly. Rowan Atkinson and Jim Broadbent will take the lead in episodes to come, and last night's "Queen of the East" starred Jennifer Saunders. These actors are no t hired to turn in accurate photocopies of real human beings.
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links