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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam