Arts and Entertainment

There’s a bit in the middle of Mad About the Boy when the agent for Bridget’s screenplay – a modern interpretation of Hedda Gabler set in Queen’s Park – sends her a strange email. “We have a couple of responses on your script,” he writes. “They are passing. The themes are fascinating but they’re wanting more of a romcom feel. I’ll keep trying.” It could be a coincidence, but by this point it reads like a coded SOS from the author. The book is at its best when it is a poignant comic novel about a 51-year-old woman struggling to bring up children after the sudden death of her husband. It is hit-and-miss when it’s about a 51-year-old Bridget Jones who struggles with all the TV remotes and counts nits instead of Chardonnays. But on occasion it becomes a parody of a Richard Curtis film, or even worse an American sitcom, and that of course is v v bad.

Fielding: Fondly lampoons pretentiousness

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding - Review

There’s a bit in the middle of Mad About the Boy when the agent for Bridget’s screenplay – a modern interpretation of Hedda Gabler set in Queen’s Park – sends her a strange email. “We have a couple of responses on your script,” he writes. “They are passing. The themes are fascinating but they’re wanting more of a romcom feel. I’ll keep trying.” It could be a coincidence, but by this point it reads like a coded SOS from the author. The book is at its best when it is a poignant comic novel about a 51-year-old woman struggling to bring up children after the sudden death of her husband. It is hit-and-miss when it’s about a 51-year-old Bridget Jones who struggles with all the TV remotes and counts nits instead of Chardonnays. But on occasion it becomes a parody of a Richard Curtis film, or even worse an American sitcom, and that of course is v v bad.

Bridget Jones, played by Renée Zellwegger, in the big-screen version

First look review: Bridget Jones returns in Mad About the Boy, By Helen Fielding

Old tricks and new comforts in Fielding’s fantasy of consolation

Natural attraction: Saoirse Ronan and George MacKay in 'How I Live Now'

How I Live Now: 'It's too dark for America'

Director Kevin Macdonald has made his first teenage romance, but How I Live Now has far more in common with The Road than it does with Twilight, he tells Kaleem Aftab

Indyplus videos: Film trailers new films

Watch below the trailers for Geoffrey Macnab's selection of new films showing this week:

Video: Film trailers for the latest releases

Watch the videos below for a selection of trailers for the latest releases:

Hugh Grant was the 72nd person to be auditioned for the lead role in Four Weddings and a Funeral

Four Weddings and 72 auditions: Hugh Grant won romcom role after marathon casting process

With his cut-glass English charm and endearingly chaotic manner (not to mention the floppy hair) Hugh Grant has proven himself every bit the leading man. But the actor was actually the 72nd person to be auditioned for Four Weddings and a Funeral, and the was the first to make it seem funny, Richard Curtis has revealed.

DVD: Blancanieves

Forget last year's two live-action film versions of Snow White.

Richard Curtis initially made his name co-writing television comedies

Bowing out: Richard Curtis to say farewell to directing at About Time premiere

Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams are among the stars who will attend tonight's world premiere of Richard Curtis's latest film About Time as he brings his hugely successful directing career to an end.

The Rosie Project, By Graeme Simsion

An entertaining novel whose brooding romantic hero has Asperger's Syndrome

DVD review: Silver Linings Playbook

David O Russell's Oscar-winning comedy stands out from the Hollywood crowd by having a polished and punchy screenplay, rather than acres of self-indulgent improv, and a hero (Bradley Cooper) who has genuine mental-health issues, rather than simply being an arrested adolescent.

Last night's viewing - Keeping Britain Alive: the NHS in a Day, BBC2; The Mindy Project, E4

If, as Nigel Lawson said, the NHS is the closest thing the English have to a religion, then fly-on-the- wall documentaries about the NHS are the closest thing television commissioners have to Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. They are guaranteed crowd-pullers. As a result, one is rarely more than four hours away from the swabs, beeps and tears of a hosp-doc.

Gone viral: Caleb Landry Jones stars as Syd, a dealer in celebrity illnesses
Hug a Harry: Redknapp and Villas-Boas keep warm on the final whistle

The Calvin Report: No bitterness from Redknapp on first meeting with ex since being dumped

Ultimately, players are more important than a manager's media profile or his comfort with the metrics of the modern game. Harry Redknapp's current set at Queens Park Rangers are inherently inferior to the familiar figures whose allegiance is to Andre Villas-Boas and Tottenham Hotspur.

Last Tango in Halifax, Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid

It triumphed because it wasn't about old people or even elderly romance, but love, says Simon Usborne

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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot