HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE (2008)
Label: Olive Films
Region Code: A
Duration: 110 minutes
Audio: Enlish DTS-HD MA 5.1
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen ( 1.85:1)
Cast: Simon Pegg, Jeff Bridges, Kirsten Dunst, Danny Huston, Megan Fox, Gillian AndersonDirector: Robert B. Weide
Synopsis: Based on the memoir by Vanity Fair columnist Toby Young, How To Lose Friends and Alienate People stars Simon Pegg (Shaun of The Dead) as journalist Sidney Young, a fictionalized version of the author. Hired by Sharpes magazine editor Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski), Sidney moves from his native England to the United States to write celebrity profiles for the glossy monthly. Much like oil and water, Sidney does not mix well with his interview subjects, the Sharpes staff or people in general. Despite biting the hand that feeds him, turning “celebrity” into “mockery,” Sidney soon finds himself in the limelight when he’s promoted. But he’ll discover that fifteen minutes of fame is indeed fleeting.
I will pretty much watch any movie starring Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead, I love the guy, add to that supporting roles from Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski) and Gillian Anderson (X-Files) and I am already in favor of your movie without having watched it. The movie is based on a memoir by an infamous Vanity Fair columnist I've never heard of, so accordingly I cannot account for how wildly inaccurate it may or may not be based on the memoir or reality, and I don't really care, it's a movie. Pegg stars as journalist Sidney Young who lampoons celebrity culture in his indie tabloid the Post-Modern Review, who somehow winds up on the staff of the wildly popular Sharpes magazine, run by editor Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), who sees the irreverent Young as a reminder of his own early days in tabloid publishing, and Young is a bit of a fanboy of Harding's earlier work as well, and looking forward to working for one of his heroes.
Once on staff at the respectable magazine things don't go well for the formerly venomous journalist who fails to find his niche in the magazine, now that he's been invited to rub elbows with the stars of the days his muse seems to have escaped, now that he must contend with pretentious young directors and vapid young actress named Sophie Maes (Megan Fox) and her scheming publicist (Anderson). A backstabbing coworker (Danny Huston) who also steals his few good ideas for his own career benefit and Pegg has a love/hate relationship with his coworker Alison.
At the end of the day this is a decently fun romp through Hollywood celebrity culture that will appeal to fans of reality TV and E entertainment Television, but its lacks any direction and is very middle of the road. At the heart of the story is the tale of how Pegg's character goes from celebrity-envious blogger to sell-out journalist and back again, with a love interest thrown into the mix by way of Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man), his coworker with a heart of gold, whom carries around a notebook in which she is writing her first novel, which is all a bit eye-rolling to be honest.
Pegg is great fun as ever and if you're a fan of his work you will probably love him, but the movie is a mediocre send-up of the movie industry and celebrity culture that lacks true wit I felt this needed to be a darker comedy, and if it weren't for the inclusion of Pegg and the goodwill of the supporting cast (Anderon, Bridges, Dunst) I don't think I would have made it through to the end. This falls somewhere between The Devil Wears Prada and something else I normally wouldn't want to watch, but just on the goodwill of the ensemble cast I made it through. I didn't hate i, but this is disposable comedy, a one and done for me, but probably a perfectly enjoyable watch for most. 2.5/5