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Bright Young Things (2003)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | 3 October 2003 (UK)
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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)
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Miles
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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:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Stephen Fry commissioned two contemporary songs from The Pet Shop Boys for the movie - a cover version of Noël Coward's "The Party's Over Now" and a Pet Shop Boys-penned title track. The title track was written and recorded but the director elected not to use any Pet Shop Boys' performances, preferring to utilize only period music in the film. See more »

Goofs

A gramophone record of Noel Coward's "Nina" is played in the section before World War II breaks out. Coward didn't record the song until 1945. See more »

Quotes

Race Steward: I'm terribly sorry, but only mechanics, judges, and family are allowed beyond this point.
Miles: We're family. That one's my husband.
Race Steward: Your what?
Agatha: Only joking. He means he's my husband, don't you, darling?
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Crazy Credits

The end credits list the actors one or two at a time, showing pictures of their characters in the film along with their names. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

By A Waterfall
Music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal
Performed by Ken Barnie & Andrew Mackenna
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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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