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.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss, 15

Lonely hearts meet up and make magic

The Waiting Room (15)

The Waiting Room is a British indie film starring Anne-Marie Duff as a single mum who's having a fling with her married next-door neighbour, Rupert Graves. Her head is turned by Ralf Little, a man she meets briefly in the waiting room of a local railway station, but she doesn't know anything about him.

Made of Honour, (12A)

Patrick Dempsey is a rich, irresponsible womaniser, Michelle Monaghan the platonic best friend who's the only woman to resist his charm: then she falls in love with another man, and if you don't know where all this is leading I can only assume you've not actually seen a film before, and this probably isn't the best place to start.

Take It From Me: Claudia Winkleman

'The cinema is win-win. No chat, no cooking. Just nachos and a Solero in a dark room with the man you love'

27 Dresses (12A)

Gloss, corn, cliché – what more do you want from a wedding?

The Heartbreak Kid (15)

Dan in Real Life (PG)

Dan (Steve Carell) is a widowed father who is on a family holiday at his parents' New England beach house when he meets his dream woman (Juliette Binoche), only to learn that she's his brother's new girlfriend. Closer to real life than most romantic comedies, 'Dan in Real Life' is a gentle indie charmer built around Carell's touchingly underplayed discomfort. But be warned: the film gets smothered in hugging, crying and an all-American cosiness before the end.

Bride Wars (PG)

A chick flick of such unutterable vileness that by the end you may feel suicidal, or perhaps just homicidal.

Timeless or tedious? 'Pride and Prejudice may not address the social problems of the time but it is as relevant now as the day it was written'

As Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy reappear in yet another dramatisation, we ask if Jane Austen's classic really is the most perfect English novel - or just a 19th-century Mills & Boon

In a Good Light by Clare Chambers

A happy childhood's a bad start in life - you never get over it

Critics' Awards 1999 - Film: Where have all the adults gone?

It's only sensible to worry for the health of an art form which hasn't produced a single masterpiece all year. But one thing makes me confident that better days are round the corner. The majority of this year's best cinema has been the work of debutantes or near-debutantes. The Blair Witch Project, the glorious Festen, Rushmore, High Art, and the little-seen Australian film Praise were all first features, or thereabouts.

Book review: Love and death in the war of the roses

The Rose Grower by Michelle de Kretser Chatto pounds 10

Letter: Hitch framed

NOBODY DESCRIBES the imagery of cinema more incisively than Gilbert Adair and nobody has created images of greater brilliance than Alfred Hitchcock. What a shame, therefore, that Adair's masterly review of Strangers on a Train (Culture, 15 August) should be accompanied by a clumsily posed publicity still when the film itself is, as he suggests, a treasure trove of unforgettable frames.
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible