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UPC 14: 00883904135579
He's Across the Pond and Out of His Depth.
"...an entertaining companion piece to [Young's] book. Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
|Sidney young (pegg), a small-time aspiring british celebrity journalist who is hired by an upscale magazine after catching the attention of clayton harding (bridges) during an event by creating a ridiculous scene with the help of a wild pig.|
"...an enjoyable and often funny look at a mad, mad, mad, mad world. Helen O'Hara, Empire
"Hilarious and highly entertaining! Leonard Maltin
"It will have you laughing from start to fnish! Pete Hammond, Hollywood.com
"A sharp-witted satire of celebrity journalism. Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle
Toby Young's scathing roman à clef about his stint working for Vanity Fair is rather loosely adapted for the screen in this film of the same name. Young briefly worked for the high-profile magazine in the mid-1990s, and upon his dismissal he penned a snarky memoir that went on to become a major bestseller. Now, in the film version, we have Simon Pegg as Sidney Young, a cocky journalist who is hired by editor Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges) to work for Sharps magazine. Sidney arrives in New York with grand plans to expose the ridiculousness of modern celebrity culture, but Harding forces him to work on puff pieces with fellow writer Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst). Sidney refuses to adapt to the glitzy magazine world, and is ostracized for his offensive, sloppy behavior. He and Alison--a frustrated novelist at heart--trade barbs and bond over their terrible jobs, slowly developing a quirky camaraderie. Things take a turn when Sidney meets Sophie Maes (Megan Fox), an ambitious starlet. He becomes determined to get Sophie into bed, no matter the cost, and after several madcap incidences involving crushed Chihuahuas and transsexuals, he finds himself suddenly sucked into the flashy world of Sharps. In danger of losing himself completely, he tries to figure out what it is he really wants, and what he is willing to sacrifice to get it.Bridges puts in an amusing performance as the lackadaisical Harding, and Gillian Anderson is perfect as the icy P.R. queen. Some might feel Pegg, a hugely talented comedian, was perhaps miscast in this rather straightforward comedy; the film is sharp in places, but doesn't come close to capturing the caustic claws of the book. Rather ironically, a story that takes on the nonsense of Hollywood appears to have become a part of the very machine it meant to mock.
Cast & Crew
ReelViews 7 of 10
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is an uneasy marriage of satire and romantic comedy. The film's inability to decide whether it wants to be sweet and life-affirming or vicious and nasty creates not only a disconnect on the story level but results in tonal shifts that are dizzying. By trying to obey two masters, How to Lose Friends ends up serving neither with enough faithfulness to earn it a recommendation as either a parody or a lighthearted love story...The film is loosely based on Toby Young's autobiographical account of five years spent writing for Vanity Fair. Not only have the names been changed to protect the guilty but a lot of the rough edges have been smoothed out for mass market consumption. The film tries to do what The Devil Wears Prada accomplished in the fashion industry, but there's no Meryl Streep here and Jeff Bridges isn't given the opportunity to step into a similarly spotlighted role...This is the feature debut of Robert B. Weide, who is probably best known for his behind-the-scenes involvement in Curb Your Enthusiasm. How to Lose Friends represents a near miss: a movie that ends up disappointing because it can't decide what it wants to be. Romantic comedy fans will be dismayed by the long detours taken between romantic interludes and by the not altogether satisfying resolution. (In particular, what happens to the ring.) Those searching for satire will find aspects of the movie too neutered and fearful of offending. (Names may have been changed, but that doesn't mean certain people won't see themselves in the characters.) The end result is that How to Lose Friends and Alienate People feels jumbled and disorganized. It's not altogether unpalatable, but that doesn't present it from being a mess.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
When a film begins with the proud claim that it was "inspired by real events," the word inspired usually translates as heavily rewritten from. I can't remember if "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People" even makes that particular claim. But it could fairly claim to be "inspired by real events so much more outrageous than anything in this movie that you wouldn't believe it"...I have been a follower of the real Toby Young for years. He is much more preposterous than "Sidney Young," the hero of this film, which is based on Toby's memoir. He first came to fame in the early '90s as co-editor of Modern Review, a British magazine devoted to fierce criticism of everything but itself. The magazine ended in tabloid headlines after Young shut it down and traded savage insults with his co-editor, the equally famous Julie Burchill, who had left her husband and announced she was a lesbian. Young went on to fail sensationally as a writer for Vanity Fair and as a Hollywood screenwriter..."How to Lose Friends & Alienate People" is possibly the best movie that could be made about Toby Young that isn't rated NC-17...In a boring old world, such people are to be prized. I have met only one man who I would back to be more outrageous than Toby Young, even though he is handicapped by not using drugs. His name is Jay Robert Nash. Those who know him would agree with me. He once walked into a saloon in a tiny mountain town in Colorado, where cowboys were not only drinking around the fire but had tethered their horses outside, and serenaded them with "Rhinestone Cowboy" and meant well by it. I saw this. It should be said that both Nash and Young are good fathers and nice men. I can't speak for Crosby and Stills.
- Roger Ebert