By Ray Bennett
LONDON – Stephen Fry’s “Bright Young Things” will be judged at two levels: as an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel “Vile Bodies” and as a film on its own merits.
Possibly torn between the two, writer/director Fry fails at both.
Noisy, busy and frightfully giddy, the film makes a stab at “Moulin Rouge” territory but ends up as an annoying mish-mash with terribly keen chaps and dotty women charging about to little effect.
With Waugh devotees bound to be mortified by the simplistic and optimistic ending that Fry splices onto the story, and with precious few laughs, word of mouth is unlikely to be very positive and box office prospects appear dire.
Opens: UK Oct. 3; Cast: Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily Mortimer, Fenella Woolgar, James McAvoy, Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Guy Henry, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Broadbent, Stockard Channing, Peter O’Toole; Director: Stephen Fry; Writer: Stephen Fry, based on the novel “Vile Bodies” by Evelyn Waugh; Director of Photography: Henry Braham; Production designer: Michael Howells; Composer: Anne Dudley; Costume designer: Nic Ede; Editor: Alex Mackie; Producers: Gina Carter, Miranda Davis; Executive Producers: Andrew Eaton, Michael Winterbottom, Stephen Fry, Chris Auty, Neil Peplow, Jim Reeve, Steve Robbins; Not rated; running time, 106 minutes; Presented by The Film Consortium in association with the UK Film Council and Visionview and Icon Film Distribution a Revolution Films/Doubting Hall production.