Thursday, September 30, 2004

Movie: Bright Young Things

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2004 at 4:00 AM

***

Our Rating: 3.00

Breezy and inconsistent, this adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 1930s novel Vile Bodies shows a reporter (Stephen Campbell Moore) falling in with the young-and-rich set that's joining the old guard in the social limelight. The symbiosis of news writers and newsmakers (or is it a parasitic relationship?) opens the door to mildly biting character comedy: There's a drunken major (Jim Broadbent), a fiercely proselytizing evangelist (Stockard Channing) and of course a flamboyantly gay party boy (Michael Sheen). The movie (previously shown as part of the 2004 Florida Film Festival) struts and preens like one of the bright young things itself, pleased with its own coincidences and never sure how important it is for its blithe drollery to resolve into some greater point. The episodic structure gets more unwieldy as the story progresses – the pitfall of condensing a sprawling novel, perhaps – but there's still room for some rewarding dalliances, including Fenella Woolgar's poignant portrayal of a dizzy, doomed blonde.

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