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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