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

Life and Style
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Arts and Entertainment
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

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If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

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One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
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King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

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More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
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