Charlie Colquhoun is a journalist whose career is floundering. As a teenager, he fathered a daughter, Tommy, who was committed to foster care as an infant. Seventeen years later, Charlie, ... See full summary »
When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home.
School's out, exams are over, and it's time for real life to begin. But before 12 friends from the International High School in Prague disappear to the four corners of the earth, they ... See full summary »
Boris von Sychowski
Based on Pat Barker's novel of the same name, 'Regeneration' tells the story of soldiers of World War One sent to an asylum for emotional troubles. Two of the soldiers meeting there are ... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller
The bitter Jake is a self-professed 'artist and filmmaker' who can't quite keep life together in the face of other people's success. Jake's life changes when small-time thief Jojo breaks ... See full summary »
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
Interior scenes set in Espinosa's restaurant were filmed in Eltham Palace, London. See more »
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 »
[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 »
"Bright Young Things" is a comedy that's never funny, a period piece that doesn't know what period it's in, and a party film that leaves you with the hangover.
When writer-director Stephen Fry decided to make an adaptation of an Evelyn Waugh novel, he could have done himself a favor and not adapted "Vile Bodies." It's an episodic satire on the lives of a group of London club kids in the late 1920s that attempts to elicit laughter from the nasty ways they are run to ground by the world around them. The characters aren't meant for any deeper emotional investment than lab rats, though Fry seems to believe otherwise.
At the center of the story, in both novel and film, is young Adam (Stephen Campbell Moore), who at the start of our story has lost his prized manuscript and is desperately trying to find new sources of funding with which to marry his lover Nina (Emily Mortimer). Opportunity comes in the form of an offer from publisher Lord Monomark (Dan Aykroyd) who wants Adam's help "tearing the lid off the young, idle, and rich."
"I put Seignior Mussolini on the front page, no one buys a copy," he laments. "But a picture of one of your set in a nightclub, I can't print enough copies."
The problem with both the novel and the film is this interesting idea is dropped almost before it begins, in favor of a number of other outrageous episodes which seem to act on the principle that anything can be made merry provided it moves fast enough. Like a strange major who makes off with some money Adam wanted to bet on a long-shot horse. Or a party that winds up finding themselves in the Prime Minister's residence. Or a car race that loses a wayward driver. All of this is drawn out as if it were funny merely by being incongruous.
The film is worse on a few counts. First, Fry by necessity condenses the story but is at pains to include almost every character that appears in the book, as a way of facilitating assorted cameos that run from extraneous (Richard E. Grant as an angry Jesuit) to sad (John Mills as a mute coke sniffer). Second, he invests his version with an elegiac sadness that feels totally out of place in the second half. Nothing says comedy like a man sticking his head in an oven, or another tearfully discovering his homosexual lifestyle exposed.
Even the main romance, a matter of crass opportunism in the book, is presented as a kind of real love story, even heroic as the Roaring '20s zip suddenly ahead to Dunkirk and the Blitz. Fry doesn't seem to trust either Waugh's wit or his own to make "Bright Young Things" work on comedic grounds, or else he really thinks the characters worth celebrating. The result is a doubled-down waste of our time.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?