Bright Young Things (2003)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Manners, Period Film, Sophisticated Comedy  |   Release Date - Aug 20, 2004 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Andrea LeVasseur

A beautifully shallow spectacle, Stephen Fry's debut Bright Young Things is a fine way to pass the time. The fast-paced script of playful banter is delivered with charm from the cast of seasoned theatrical stage actors. Newcomer Stephen Campbell Moore is generally likable as the young writer Adam Fenwick-Symes, a cute leading man caught up in a world of excessive partying. Emily Mortimer is a little irritating as his materialistic fiancée, Nina, but she still carries herself with enough grace to care about her. Other remarkable performances include Michael Sheen as the delicious dandy Miles and Fenella Woolgar as the flapper girl Agatha Runcible. In one of the most fun scenes, an intoxicated Agatha dons a pair of riding goggles and accidentally takes over as driver in a wacky car race. Cameos from Dan Aykroyd, Stockard Channing, and Peter O'Toole are quite brief, but understandably so. The real attraction here is the fabulous period production design, costumes, and original score. The hedonistic youth of the title are lovely to look at as they dance, drink, and practice their conversation skills in fashionable environments. The silly happy ending ties up the romantic plot nicely with the right amount of fuss. While not very emotionally complex, Bright Young Things manages to be exciting entertainment for fans of Oscar Wilde-style wit and '30s glamour.