Bright Young Things [DVD] 
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Adam and his friends are young, party-goers who cannot keep still for a moment. Among all the madness, Adam is trying to raise enough money to marry Nina. While his attempts are constantly thwarted, his friends are slowly on the road to destruction in their search for newer and faster sensations.
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Top Customer Reviews
The film rattles along at a great pace, with fantastic characters and great acting - Stephen Campbell Moore is a great lead, and Fenella Woolgar's Agatha Runcible is one of the funniest characters I've seen in a film.
The story is set in the 20s, but deals with the mores of our age - celebrity, decadence and style over substance. The film also looks amazing - capturing the colour, dazzle and decadence of the period. The visual richness is reminiscent of the deep colours and glitter used in Cabaret.
I wouldn't be surprised if Bright Young Things got bad reviews because of Stephen Fry - maybe critics don't want 'director' added to his already bulging CV. Don't believe the hype! See the film!
The rest of the cast is equally brilliant, and the movie, on the whole, is a feast for the eyes of any fan of the British cinema. However, it is not a feast for the intellect of any fan of Waugh. Perhaps it's just as well - Waugh should be enjoyed through the page, not the screen - and I wouldn't mind if the changes made to the original storyline were not so terribly out of tune with it. But they are. Especially the ending, dripping with syrupy sentiment as sticky as the wax of the milliard candles wasted on that scene, is bound to annoy anyone who has read and loved "Vile Bodies." A little less of burlesque and sentimentality, a little less of P. G. Wodehouse and a little more of Evelyn Waugh, and this could have been a brilliant adaptation.
While the novel 'Vile Bodies' may satirise the young idle rich and their vacuous lifestyles - and while Stephen Fry may have aimed for the same effect in his film - I found 'Bright Young Things' actually painful to watch. About a third of a way in, I realised that I was wishing each and every character a grisly and humiliating death - possibly because it seemed that Fry was altogether too affectionate in his depiction of these nauseating upper class twits.
I realise that that is the actual POINT of the film (!), and that the fortunes of the characters change with WWII etc., but I couldn't stick with it to the end. Perhaps the film turns into a masterpiece by then, in which case I will owe the filmmaker an apology and probably shouldn't be reviewing it at all. And to be fair, I chucked in an extra star for the accuracy with which the actors were able to convey the chinless classes. The cinematography was nice too. But apart from that... no.
I feel slightly mean giving the film two stars, as the direction, acting etc. were perfectly OK - but it just struck me as irritating in the extreme.
Adam Fenwick-Symes (Stephen Campbell Moore) wants to be a writer, hasn't a penny, but whose friends are all among the "things." He loves Nina Blount (Emily Mortimer), a young woman who would rather be bored and rich than bored and poor. (She finally marries a very boring, aristocratic young man, Ginger Littlejohn, who is rich. "Oh, darling," she says to Adam, "if only you were as rich as Ginger...or even half as rich.")
Throughout the movie Adam finds himself in situations where he comes close to money and loses it, whether it's gambling in a hotel which has wonderfully loose morals to working as Mr. Chatterbox, a gossip columnist for a press lord. His friends are fun and stylish, but also shallow, condescending and oblivious to any feelings except their own. "You bloody people," one person finally says to them, "Who the bloody hell do you think you are?" As the Thirties pass into the 1939 invasion of Poland and Britain's declaration war, the parties stop. Bad things happen and real life takes over. But eventually Adam and Nina find their way together, without money.
I liked this movie a lot. It has great style and dialogue, and things keep moving. It was based on Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. The characters are superficial but after a while you get to know them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Much as I love Stephen Fry, he directed this film. I just felt it was a vacuous film with no real plot. Turned it off after half an hour bored out of my mind!!!Published 3 days ago by Lesley Townsend
This is a great film with an excellent cast. If you like Evelyn Waugh's books and enjoy things which are set in the 1920s, you are highly likely to enjoy his work (originally... Read morePublished 23 days ago by MIddlestitch
Bright Young Things is a 2003 British drama written and directed by the great Stephen Fry. It is based on the 1930 novel ‘Vile Bodies’ by Evelyn Waugh and the film provides a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by GRP
Looking forward to watching this, read good reviews, condition looks fine.Published 6 months ago by carol sayers
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