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45
3.9 out of 5 stars
Bright Young Things [DVD] [2003]
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2004
Anglophiles among will probably find much to admire about Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things, there's some witty dialogue, some nice English scenery, and lots of supporting characters that are either batty and eccentric, or rich and idle. Set in the 30's era, pre-world war II London, the movie centers on the wealthy, chattering classes, and the effects of love and money on them - they've obviously got lots of time on their hands, there's endless rounds of "dress up" partying, drug taking, booze, and gossiping. But nothing lasts forever of course, and the advent of the War, puts an end too much of this hedonistic frivolity.
The film's title not only refers to this bright and beautiful period in England, but also to a novel being written by its main character, Adam Fenwick-Symes (Stephen Campbell Moore). Adam hopes that the publication of his work will bring him fame and fortune and he will be able to marry his wealthy fiancé Nina Blount (Emily Mortimer). While sailing to London to meet Nina, a surly customs inspector seizes his manuscript, and he finds himself nearly penniless. But the well-connected Nina gets him a job working as a newspaper gossip columnist for an American publisher (Dan Aykroyd). In order for Adam to keep his job, Nina helps him forge to a plan to write columns containing fake gossip about the parties they attend.
Of course nothing is ever this straight forward and Adam finds himself getting mixed up with all sorts of tomfoolery involving Nina's batty old father (Peter O'Toole) and an elusive old drunkard (a brilliant Jim Broadbent) who purports to have won Adam a slight fortune at the races. This is all jolly good fun, except it's the supporting characters, which ironically, provide the more interesting stories. Adam hangs out with several young high society types: The daft, coke snorting Agatha (a wonderful Fenella Wollgar who steals the show), the campy, effeminate Miles (Michael Sheen), and the pompous Ginger Littlejohn (played by David Tennant) Each of these players shamelessly steals nearly every scene they're in.

Bright Young Things is a pleasant enough experience, and Fry does a sound job of recreating the delirious atmosphere of the era. But the film ultimately has a kind of weird, vacuous quality to it; it's fun to watch while your there, but you'll remember very little about it afterwards. The movie, at the end of the day, sinks under the weight of sallow, uninspiring, and lackluster social observations, and it isn't nearly as cutting-edge, witty and provocative as it could be. Mike Leonard November 04.
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on 17 August 2013
This film, based upon Evelyn Waugh's book 'Vile Bodies', is the first film that Stephen Fry directed. An excellent cast of talented actors make it a delight to watch. Despite the era, the storyline bears some similarities to today....youth and their activities horrifying the older generation. The arrival of the 1914 - 1918 war has a huge impact upon the 'Bright Young Things' of the title and their everyday lives and expectations.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This period piece set in the heady days of the 1930s is directed by Stephen Fry and manages to capture much of the wit and energy of the time. It centres around a novelist played by Stephen Campbell-Moore who's main aim is to earn enough money to marry his on/off fiance Nina played brilliantly by Emily Mortimer. The casting is spot on and there are many well-known actors starring in this film including James McAvoy, David Tennant, Simon Callow and Michael Sheen. I loved the scenes with Julia McKenzie portraying the sozzled 'Duchess of Duke Street/Rosa Lewis' hotelier as this really underlined the spirit of the dying 20s/30s.

Overall, an excellent film and recommended to all fans of classic period pieces. Also look out for scenes set in the beautiful art deco Eltham Palace.
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on 30 August 2014
One of the few films I've seen which hasn't been a disappointment when compared to a much-loved book. I appreciated Vile Bodies and Bright Young Things in different ways but thought that the film was a fantastic adaptation of the book, clearly devised by someone who loves the book and is able to translate it well to the screen.
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on 23 June 2013
Full of famous faeces and a lesson in how to throw a great party, this film has some wonderful moments.
For young at heart types with a love of modern literature, pathos and revelry combined perfectly.
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on 3 May 2013
A good first effort by Stephen fry. Would have liked a stronger storyline but good performances from all the cast especially Michael sheen who never fails to deliver in the many varied roles he takes on.
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on 21 April 2015
Wonderful. Brilliant. Hilarious. A great romp. Choice. Tasty. Don't worry - Stephen Fry isn't in it. Forget the naysayers - just buy one.
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on 16 January 2015
my wife and I really enjoyed this films light hearted portrail of opulent London and it's excellent star studied cast ... Well done Mr Fry!
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on 30 April 2014
Looked promising with an impressive cast, but this was a real disappointment which I gave up watching part way through.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This film has had an awful lot of bad press over the past year and I have to say it doesn't deserver any of it! I'm someone who hasn't read the book and so I watched this film, having no idea of what to expect and I loved it.
The plot is good and believable, the scenery is fantasic and Stephen Fry defiatly has talent as a director. His commentary over the film is a fasinating insight into the book and his ideas for the film. The only annoyance I had with it is that near the end the timeline goes too fast and the plot doesn't carry very well, however this is outweighed by the fantasic acting by the young cast who make totally convincing young aristocrats. I recomend this film for someone who likes the 20s/30s era and wants an enjoyable film to watch, I just wish they added more extras to the DVD!
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