Bright Young Things

I was expecting deliciously wicked. Instead, I got loud and dull. Bright Young Things was funny sometimes, it just wasn’t funny enough. It reminded me of either a serious Jeeves and Wooster, or a Brideshead Revisited lite. I left the theater wanting to go home and watch either one of them.

I’m going to read the Evelyn Waugh’s book “Vile Bodies” to see if the problem is with the film or the story. P.G. Wodehouse writes about the shallow, self-absorbed, wealthy celebrities too, but he makes them brilliant. Even though Wodehouse exposes the shimmer as champagne sparkle and rhinestone glitter, his amusement outshines Waugh’s moralizing.

I’ll be interested in seeing how Stephen Campbell Moore develops. He looks like a younger, and more handsome Hugh Laurie.


I keep thinking that there is a similar movie that I’ve enjoyed more, but I’m not sure what it is. Maybe any of these.

2 Responses to “Bright Young Things”

  1. kat Responds:

    I giggled through a lot of it–love the party scenes–loved the sweetness of the main characters. I didn’t think it amounted to that much but I had a fun ride.

    I enjoyed it while I was watching it–laughed hysterically at times. But I didn’t come away with anything. I think Waugh said it perfectly, in Anthony Blanche’s description of Sebastian.

    “Tell me candidly, have you ever heard Sebastian say anything you have remembered for five minutes? You know, when I hear him talk, I am reminded of that in some ways nauseating picture of ‘Bubbles’…when dear Sebastian speaks it is like a little sphere of soapsuds drifting off the end of an old clay pipe, anywhere, full of rainbow light for a second and then–phut!–vanished, with nothing left at all, nothing.” — Brideshead Revisited.

  2. m2 Responds:

    I went in expecting a comedy, and was startled by the deep tragedy. I think I would have been happier expecting a tragedy, and finding unexpected comedy.
    Still, I thought it was an interestingly realistic portrayal of the fascinating phenomenon: when people raised to be useless suddenly find themselves needing to be self-sufficient, but without the skills.
    I thought the movie made the right decision NOT to be deliciously wicked. That would have lost the deep sadness that I admired. The people were very believable and normal, intelligent and witty, fond of their friends and terribly, despairingly lost.

    I find it interesting that you liked it more than I did. Wouldn’t most people think it would be just the opposite?
    I just didn’t feel any empathy for the characters. Generally I like movies about self-absorbed wastrels. But I like them to be more intelligent and creative wastrels. Pretentious even.

The surface and beneath the surface