Immediately before the war, the bright young things – as the ever intrusive press dub them - of the English upper class live a life of party, party, party. It’s sex, drugs, and "¦. the Charlston. Adam (Stephen Campbell Moore), one of the well bred group but completely broke, is hoping to marry Nina (Emily Mortimer). Every time he seems about to find the money to do so, he is thwarted by fate, while his friends are sinking further into the abyss of a whirl of parties and frolics. They shock the older generation with their jazz, their speed and their recklessness. But the day of reckoning is nigh "¦

It works as entertainment but doesn\'t go beyond that to achieve any real sense of significance.

Fry adapted and directed Evelyn Waugh\'s 1930 novel Vile Bodies for his first stint as director. It\'s set amongst the socialite scene of London prior to World War 2. The protagonist is Adam Symes, Stephen Campbell Moore, whose book, Bright Young Things, is confiscated when he tries to bring it into the UK after finishing it o/s. Press magnate Lord Monomark, Dan Ackroyd, who\'s paid him one hundred pounds for his work is not impressed. Adam needs the money because he wants to marry Nina, Emily Mortimor. In desperate search of funds, the well-connected but impoverished Adam appeals to Nina\'s father, Peter O\'Toole for help, takes on the job of gossip columnist, and runs bets on a lot of things.

The prescient Evelyn Waugh would perhaps be disappointed with the lack of real satirical bite in this screen version of his work. This story is more a matter of luck and fate than a critique of the lifestyles of the rich and famous seventy odd years ago in between-wars England. However the film is not without its charms. As a story it works thanks largely to the performances from a mostly British stellar cast. Fry\'s direction however seems to be at odds with the material, with quick cuts, some strange lighting and some jarring edits. It works as entertainment but doesn\'t go beyond that to achieve any real sense of significance.