Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Bright Young Things


Lovely to look at, but when all is said and done, this is nothing but Party Monster with Benny Goodman music instead of disco. It may take you a while to see that, as we’re trained to think the Brits are so, so sophisticated, but this group in 1938 are fully as shallow and empty and repulsive as Michael Alig and his Club Kids. Since it is based on a comic novel by Evelyn Waugh and directed by the naughty Stephen Fry (who is marvelous as various clueless upper-class twits in the Blackadder series) there is some wit here, some funny situations, and we are not meant to like these people, but it is a tedious exercise. I’d prefer my upper-class satire to have a few more actual laughs in it, and some sharp dialogue. Try Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. There’s a good version of it from 1952, and another made in 2002.