Saturday, October 21, 2006


Period movie of the week:

This is not a movie of great political significance. It's not a movie of great artistic relevence. It has no redeeming social value that I can discern. But it is fun to watch - a guilty pleasure.

This is like the British version of La Dolce Vita. It's the Masterpiece Theatre version of rich young people, and those that they let into their circle, with no responsiblilty, behaving poorly. They're not mean or anything. They just spend their lives going from one country to another, one party to another, indulging themselves with drink and anything else they can manage to bring some excitment to their emply lives.

But they're not all empty. The main character, Adam, is not rich. He's in love with a young woman,Nina, from that crowd (she's rich - or wants to be rich). For that, he's allowed into their circle. He's afraid to ask her to marry him until he first makes his fortune (I know this sounds like an Oscar Wilde plot. It's not, it's an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies".). Whether or not he's successful is for you to discover by watching the movie.

I suppose the moral of the story is similar to that of La Dolce Vita. That is, you watch these people for a while. You have fun with them, you envy their lifestyle. After a while, it gets tiring - boring, and you don't envy them quite so much. The film is funny when it need to be and serious when it wants to be (a "dramady"). Then WWII comes along and changes everything. The before and after contrasts, and reversals of fortune, are facinating to watch.

Here are some reasons to watch BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS.
  1. Fenella Woolgar plays the character Agatha, with such conviction that I'm convinced she actually WAS a bright young thing.
  2. Take Pride and Predudice and combine with The Importance of Being Earnest - then throw in some cocaine. You get the idea.
  3. Elwood Blues.
  4. Evelyn Waugh also wrote Brideshead Revisited, so you get an idea of the feel of this story.
  5. Emily Mortimer, who plays Nina, who won't marry Adam until he makes his fortune, is the daughter of John Mortimer, who was the screenwriter for Brideshead Revisited. It sounds an awful lot like an Evelyn Waugh conspiracy to me.
  6. Evelyn, Emily, Earnest, Elwood .......... do you sense an "E" conspiracy here? What's next? The director married to Evelyn Waugh?
  7. The director, Stephen Fry is married to Evelyn Waugh.
  8. I'm just joking about #7. Actually, he's married to Elwood Blues.
  9. The dialog is probably the funniest thing in the movie. I'm not refering to jokes. The dialog is just "funny". As in "Do you smell something "funny"?"
  10. I'm just joking about #8. Please don't anyone sue me.


At 5:34 PM, Blogger Ziomal said...

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