Bright Young Things
Time Out saysYou'd think a version of Waugh's Vile Bodies would be up Fry's alley: a detached but compassionate take on posh young folk partying as if there were no tomorrow. Not that they're all so flighty. Take Adam (Campbell Moore), desperate to amass enough cash to wed rich, beautiful Nina (Mortimer), and risking what 'little' he has on a nag tipped by a boozy major met at a dodgy dive. At least Adam works (as a writer) which sets him apart from most in their circle and enables him to stand in when a gossip columnist pal ostracised by the in-crowd takes his life. But while Nina is perfectly pleased to help fabricate a few tales for Adam's articles, would she settle for the middling lifestyle he can offer? A loudly frantic opening rave sets the tone: clearly, Fry's aim was to make a film on Britain's jazz age that not only reflects on the lives of (and attitudes to) today's short-sighted hedonists, but actually adopts some of the stylistic tropes that might appeal to them. The 'wit' is leaden and unfunny; the narrative's progress ungainly; the direction stolid. Only the reliable Mortimer suggests real human depth.
Cast and crew
Fenella Woolgar, Peter O'Toole, Simon McBurney, Jim Carter, Julia McKenzie, Simon Callow, Imelda Staunton, Bill Paterson, Nigel Planer, Stephen Fry, Harriet Walter, Angela Thorne, Margaret Tyzack, Richard E Grant, David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Emily Mortimer, Stephen Campbell Moore, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Broadbent, Stockard Channing, Guy Henry, James McAvoy, John Mills