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|Simon Pegg||Sidney Young|
|Kirsten Dunst||Alison Olsen|
|Jeff Bridges||Clayton Harding|
|Danny Huston||Lawrence Maddox|
|Gillian Anderson||Eleanor Johnson|
|Megan Fox||Sophie Maes|
|Max Minghella||Vincent Lepak|
|Miriam Margolyes||Mrs. Kowalski|
|Bill Paterson||Richard Young|
|Diana Kent||Rachel Petkoff|
|Robert B. Weide||Director|
|David Arnold||Score Composer|
|John Beard||Production Designer|
|Karen Elliott||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Simon Fawcett||Executive Producer|
|Annie Hardinge||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Peter "Swords" King||Makeup|
|Tessa Ross||Executive Producer|
|Gary Smith||Executive Producer|
|Courtney Solomon||Executive Producer|
|Paul White||Executive Producer|
|Allan Zeman||Executive Producer|
Posted October 1, 2010
Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) is an obnoxious womanizing loser. Sidney runs a low brow radical magazine in Britain, where he tries to break into parties after awards shows to mingle with stars and try to catch stars doing things worthy of his gossipy rag. Just when he thinks he's going to have to close down the magazine, Sidney gets a call from Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), the editor in chief for big-time New York magazine Sharps. Working at Sharps, Sidney gets to hobnob with the rich and famous, but proceeds to alienate everyone around him. While trying to get into the pants of young attractive starlet (Megan Fox) he makes an unlikely friend in fellow Sharps writer Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst).
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is based on the book of the same name, which is a memoir by faux journalist Toby Young. Hearing some of the stories of Toby Young, it's quite obvious that Sidney in the movie was made a tad bit more likable than his real life counterpart. Toby Young, who tried for five years to make it in the US as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair but failed, once asked Nathan Lane if he was gay during an interview about The Birdcage, and got himself banned from the set of the movie based on his own book because he was annoying actors and interrupting the director while he was shooting. So how do you make a movie about a guy so obnoxious that he really alienates people?
Well, the casting of an uber-likable British actor like Simon Pegg really helps the process of making Sidney Young a character that you still kind of root for. Pegg does a great job with the role he's given too, making Young a sleazy character, but also giving him a slight bit of a genuine spirit. After him all of the actors and actresses fall in line in this flick, playing their roles very well, with the exception of Megan Fox. I wondered after seeing her in Transformers if she was paired up with a different director could she possibly be a better actress? Here, unfortunately, we find out that the answer to that question is no, she's nothing more than a pretty face, nice body, and a vacant stare. I was really hoping there would be more to her though.
How to Lose Friends starts off strong, and at times is hilarious, but it loses itself and ends up all over the place. Seeing Sidney make a fool of himself can be fun, but at times it can also be painful to watch. The writing is at it's best when Sidney is being genuine, and even shows moments that appear to have a hint of ethical behavior involved. Naturally, those moments don't last as it does turn out that Sidney has a hidden agenda. At the very end of the movie it devolves into all too familiar romantic comedy territory as Sidney realizes he should be true to himself and go after the girl. I wasn't fully expecting the movie to delve into cliché territory, nor do believe that it should have gone there either.
This is a fairly enjoyable movie, hilarious at times, and refreshing in it's ridiculousness while still keeping a sense of reality. I recommend this movie, even if at times it strays from being true to itself. I enjoyed it, and I'm considering adding it to my overly large movie collection. Who knows if you'd feel the same?