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Bright Young Things (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  3 October 2003 (UK)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,197 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 64 user | 63 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies," is a look into the lives of a young novelist, his would-be lover, and a host of young people who beautified London in the 1930s.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Miles
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...
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Mrs. Melrose Ape
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Customs Officer
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Agatha
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Lord Monomark
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Basilio
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Ginger Littlejohn
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The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Judge
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King of Anatolia
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Storyline

A fool and his money. In the 1930s, Adam Fenwick-Symes is part of the English idle class, wanting to marry the flighty Nina Blount. He's a novelist with a hundred-pound advance for a manuscript confiscated by English customs. He spends the next several years trying to get money and to set a wedding date: he trades in gossip, wins money on wagers then gives it to a drunken major who's suggested he bet on a horse in an upcoming race. Adam tries to get the money back, but can't find the major. Meanwhile, Nina needs security, friends drink too much, and general unhappiness spoils the party. Then war breaks out. Is Adam's bright youth dimming with the fall of an empire? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex... Scandal... Celebrity... Some things never change.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Agria niata  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£327,293 (UK) (3 October 2003)

Gross:

$931,755 (USA) (12 November 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Bright Young Things" was the working title of "Vile Bodies", the book upon which the film is based. See more »

Goofs

A television aerial can be seen on the right hand rooftops in the external shot of the hotel that Adam and Nina stay at. See more »

Quotes

Simon Balcairn: [Telling his fake news story] Never, never, never have such scenes been witnessed in high society, that uneasy alliance between Bright Young Things and old survivors. Perhaps this was the defining moment of our epoch of speed and syncopation. This so-called 20th century of angst, neurosis and panic. Reader be glad that you have nothing to do with this world. Its glamour is a delusion, its speed a snare, its music a scream of fear. Faster and faster they swirl, sickening themselves with every ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #2.10 (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Out & Get Under
Performed by Gerioli Organ
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User Reviews

 
Fenella Woolgar Steals the Film
25 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Actor Stephen Fry makes an impressive splash as a director with Bright Young Things, based on the Evelyn Waugh novel, Vile Bodies. The story centers on some struggling "bright young things" during the years before England entered World War II. Adam (Stephen Campbell Moore) and Nina (Emily Mortimer) play sometime-engaged young things at the center of a disparate group of eccentrics. They seem addicted to the London "social whirl" as well as cocaine. He's a struggling writer, and she needs a rich husband. He gets roped into taking a job as a gossip columnist because the former writer (James McAvoy) commits suicide and because his manuscript is confiscated when he enters Scotland. So the young things go to every party and write up tons of scandalous gossip for the rag, keep getting drunk and stoned, and keep pursuing money. Typical acid commentary from Waugh, and Fry does a good job balancing all the characters and sub-plots. Impressive cast as well with Peter O'Toole (very funny), Dan Aykroyd, Stockard Channing (hilariously named Mrs. Melrose Ape), Harriet Walter, Imelda Staunton, Simon Callow, Jim Broadbent, Julia McKemzie, John Mills, Jim Carter, Angela Thorne, Bill Paterson, Richard E. Grant, and Margaret Tyzack recognizable. Fry appears as a chauffeur.

Moore and Mortimer are solid as young things, but Fenella Woolgar as Agatha is the standout. She's awesome in the part of the drugged out socialite who ends up in an asylum. Woolgar has several memorable scenes and droops about being "smashingly bored." Her race car scene is a scream. David Tennant is the repulsive Ginger, Michael Sheen is the queeny Miles, Lisa Dillon is the social wannabe, and Alec Newman is the very odd race driver.

Only real complaint is that the ending is VERY long and drawn out. And even though a few loose ends are tied up, it seems padded and interminable. We didn't really need to see WW II battle scenes, and even if the ending worked in the novel it seems very phony in the film.


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