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.

DVD:(500) Days of Summer, For retail & rental (20th Century Fox)

One of the only romantic comedies released last year to have any charm whatsoever, (500) Days of Summer recounts the relationship of its star-crossed lovers, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, out of chronological order, flitting between the highs and lows of their 500 days together.

Did You Hear About The Morgans? (PG)

Comedy fails to hit the target

Blind Dating (15)

Chris Pine is now famous as Star Trek's new Captain Kirk, which is why this earlier vehicle is seeing the light of day. A messy collision of zany rom-com and Disease of the Week melodrama, it stars Pine as a blind man who, well, goes dating.

(500) Days of Summer, Mark Webb, 95 mins, (12A)<br/>Big River Man, John Maringouin, 100 mins, (15)

A young man falls head over heels in Mark Webb's witty debut feature ... but, heaven knows, he's miserable now

(500) Days of Summer (12A)

A friend who saw an early screening of the hip new romcom (500) Days of Summer told me that 10 minutes into the film, her overwhelming urge was to head-butt both the leads.

Zooey Deschanel: A new Annie Hall?

Zooey Deschanel has been melting hearts now for almost a decade, since her supporting role in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, her second film after debuting in quirky comedy Mumford with Hope Davis and Jason Lee in 1999.

King of bromance: Judd Apatow

Think of a recent smash-hit movie comedy: chances are Judd Apatow will have had a hand in it. Tim Walker on the oddball who made men fall in love with rom-coms

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Stephen Sommers, 107 mins, (12A)<br/>The Ugly Truth, Robert Luketic, 96 mins, (15)<br/>Adam, Max Mayer, 101 mins, (12A)

Sienna Miller stars in a summer blockbuster which is an 11-year-old boy's fantasy

Hugh Dancy: Not just another heart-throb Hugh

Hollywood, watch out. There's a new charming, floppy-haired British actor in town. But Hugh Dancy is much more than a conventional rom-com hero. Gaynor Flynn meets him

Screen Talk: Losers Club could be big winner

Warner Bros is bringing Stephen King's horror novel 'It' to the big screen in an adaptation being written by scares scripter Dave Kajganich. The story follows a group of children called the Losers Club that encounter a creature called It, which preys on children and whose favorite form is that of a sadistic clown called Pennywise. When the creature resurfaces, the kids are called upon to regroup again, this time as adults, even though they have no memory of the first battle. The novel is set in 1958 and 1985, though the feature version will be set in the present day. It has already been a small-screen miniseries but coulrophobia on the big screen will be magnified.

Independent Film Forum: Confessions of a Shopaholic - have your say

Do chick flicks make you smile or do they make your blood boil? The next film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum is Confessions of a Shopaholic. Did your heart warm to Isla Fisher's ditsy performance? Is Hugh Dancy the next Hugh Grant? Is this enjoyable escapism or mindless misogyny? Air your views in the comment section below and we'll print the best of your comments in the newspaper next week.

The Independent Film Forum: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Mindless escapism or mindless misogyny? Our readers discuss Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Katy Guest: Don't mess with my happy ending, doctor

So romcoms are not true to life. That's the point

Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Kevin Smith, 101 mins, 18

Pornos have better plots than this

Mes Amis, Mes Amours (15)

Is it me, or are French romantic comedies currently even worse than our own?

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Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
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Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
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Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
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The eyes have it: Kate Bush
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Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment