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.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Melrose Ape
Customs Officer
Lord Monomark
Ginger Littlejohn
The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
King of Anatolia


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Agria niata  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£327,293 (UK) (3 October 2003)


$931,755 (USA) (12 November 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Interior scenes set in Espinosa's restaurant were filmed in Eltham Palace, London. See more »


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 »


Nina Blount: Oh, dear. Have I been sold again?
See more »

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 »


Featured in 2005 Glitter Awards (2005) See more »


Silver Threads Among The Gold
Lyrics by Eben E. Rexford and music by H.P. Danks
Performed by Marcus Oliver
See more »

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User Reviews

An Acid Satire With Serious Pretensions
8 September 2004 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"Bright Young Things" is a mostly effective satire, with some jarring seriousness thrown in, of "Masterpiece Theater" Jazz Age costume dramas for its first seven-eighths.

Set in the same period as "Gosford Park," its conflicts are just within the sexual and financial eccentricities of the empty-headed leisure and wannabe leisure class, where titles don't match income or outflow.

It is more of a visual evocation of Noel Coward songs and incorporates some of his numbers, as well as original sound-alike songs. The frolics have some similarities to the simultaneous Weimar Republic portrayed in "Cabaret."

Stephen Campbell Moore as the protagonist is almost too good in his film debut, as his character's captivatingly serious eyes and demeanor conflict with his insouciant company, particularly Emily Mortimer as his dispassionate lover, though that justifies the stuck-on denouement, that even without having read the Evelyn Waugh book this is adapted from, "Vile Bodies," I can tell didn't have this too neat and comeuppance tying-up.

The most pointed parts of the movie are its acid documentation of the birth of the tabloid gossip press, including Dan Ackroyd as a Canadian press baron with a more than passing resemblance to today's lords of Fleet Street. James McAvoy is very good as a more upper-class betraying precursor to his scandal-seeking scion reporter in the mini-series "State of Play," and manages to seem like a real person, unlike so many of the characters who are just types or plot conveniences.

The production design and costumes are delightful.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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