6.6/10
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63 user 63 critic

Bright Young Things (2003)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | 3 October 2003 (UK)
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2:22 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Stephen Fry

Writers:

Stephen Fry (screenplay), Evelyn Waugh (novel)
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Popularity
4,934 ( 702)
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon McBurney ... Sneath (Photo-Rat)
Michael Sheen ... Miles Maitland
Emily Mortimer ... Nina
James McAvoy ... Simon Balcairn
Stephen Campbell Moore ... Adam
Stockard Channing ... Mrs Melrose Ape
Adrian Scarborough ... Customs Officer
Jim Carter ... Chief Customs Officer
Fenella Woolgar ... Agatha
Dan Aykroyd ... Lord Monomark
Julia McKenzie ... Lottie Crump
Bruno Lastra ... Basilio
David Tennant ... Ginger Littlejohn
Jim Broadbent ... The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins John Franklyn-Robbins ... Judge
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Storyline

A fool and his money. In the 1930s, Adam Fenwick-Symes (Stephen Campbell Moore) is part of the English idle class, wanting to marry the flighty Nina Blount (Emily Mortimer). He's a novelist with a one 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 (Jim Broadbent), who 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Agria niata See more »

Filming Locations:

Port of Tilbury, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£327,293 (United Kingdom), 5 October 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,926, 22 August 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$931,755, 14 November 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Simon Balcairn: [Telling his fake news story] The most shocking orgy since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah rocked society last night.
Typist: Hold the presses, get down to compositing. Now.
Simon Balcairn: The vulgar evangelist, Mrs. Melrose Ape, proudly revealed that her angels were no more than underage adornments on sale to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, tears coursing down her face, the honorable Agatha... , whose repulsive liason with the Prime Minister shocked the nation this week, bewailed her, quote: "Ruined, bogus, vapid, ...
[...]
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 »

Connections

Featured in Stephen Fry: Director Documentary (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Out & Get Under
Performed by Gerioli Organ
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Age of Excess Revisited
8 April 2006 | by B24See all my reviews

A most notable characteristic of this film is that it rather zanily merges the 1920's with the 1930's. That historical distortion may seem a slight defect to some viewers choosing to concentrate on a broader stage involving the upper class in its last throes of excess, but for me it destroys the underlying plot. The years before the Great Depression -- the Roaring 20's -- were sui generis. Moving everything forward to events as late as 1940 is a forced element that simply fails.

Otherwise, there are some bright young moments here. Character actors do indeed steal the show, even if some are given throw-away roles. If only there were better and more believable development of various interactions between the leads, it would make for compelling drama; but we are treated instead to campy olio resolving itself into a strange conclusion, somewhat surreal. For example, the business between Adam and Ginger having to do with money as WWII rages on is misplaced farce -- even if the audience assumes a generous disposition of credulity.

Little wonder outsiders looking in have a difficult time with this film, not to mention us history buffs.


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