* Prices may differ from that shown
Being a Simon Pegg fan, I was very eager to watch this film. Id heard some good things about it from my friends and reviews online seemed to be mainly positive. The cast looked very appealing and rather unusual seeing as Simon was the star.
The story is based on a journalist who craves fame. After causing such a ruckus trying to crash an after party to interview celebrities, this somehow gets him a job at Sharpes ( A top magazine). We follow his career, waiting for the moment where he is sat at the Apollo award show wearing a Rolex and an Armani suit hoping to sleep with a very beautiful actress (Megan Fox) if she wins the award.
Now the story was never something that drew me to watch this film. It sounded dull, done and frankly I wasn't interested. If it wasn't for Simon Pegg, I would never have given this film a try but unfortunately I did.
With a mildly satisfying start to the film, I did giggle at one or two parts where a pig was storming through the after party but from then on it all went felling very quickly downhill. The jokes were very cliché and there was nothing original with its humour. We saw Simon chatting up women as if he was all it, Kirsten being drunk and making a fool of herself and some idiotic remarks from the dumb actress played by Megan Fox.
The romantic story to the film was of course always going to be rather dull and cliché as well like with the rest of its type in this genre. I suppose I wasn't really disappointed by this part as I wasn't expecting much at all.
As for the characters themselves, it seemed like the writer was playing it safe. Making all the characters something the actors have played before. Kirsten Dunst, especially. Though they all played it very well, it was just a shame they weren't given better characters.
Unless you like these easy to watch 'comedies', then I would recommend this film at all. It will only leave you disappointed at the end. That's if you manage to watch it all the way through.
This is another film that I missed at the cinema, but have had the opportunity to see a few times, courtesy of our satellite dish. Being a bit of a fan of Simon Pegg as you might have recently noticed from my reviews (I don't exactly have the T-shirt, mind), this was a film I wanted to see.
Budding journalist Sidney Young dreams of hitting the big-time with a top magazine. He wants nothing more than the chance to get in with the celebrity crowd and VIP world, but he does have his principles as a good honest writer. However, speaking his mind and rubbing people up the wrong way just seems to bring him nothing but trouble. That is until Clayton Harding, editor at Sharps, offers him a new job at their company base in New York. Sharps is a big magazine firm and Sidney thinks he has finally got his big break, but it is not that easy!
I think this is a story that is really about learning the true meaning of integrity. Sidney regards success as whatever the magazines and showbiz world define it to be and seems to have about the more basic values of family and true friends. He thinks that because he tells the truth as he sees it he must be right. The mishaps and trouble he gets himself into are really quite funny but at times you are also on the edge of your seat, hoping he will not get caught out. Of course there is also a bit of romance involved, as Sidney tries to impress a beautiful film star, Sophie Maes, yet there is someone else we would have rather seen him go for and it is a shame she is taken...
As the title suggests, Sidney Young is meant to be one of those people who always says the wrong things at the wrong times and in spite of being deep down a good person is always attracting trouble. Simon Pegg is perfect for such a role because he has just the right facial expressions and mannerisms. He is also quite a lovable type and so you want the best for his character and dread to see him mess up again!
Kirsten Dunst I have never really seen as a very strong actress and I did not find her performance in this film to be anything spectacular. However, the contrast between the serious and slightly insecure traits she shows with the arrogance and outspoken ways of Simon Pegg's character give the film its interesting angle.
Sophie Maes was played brilliantly by Megan Fox and Jeff Bridges is impressive as Clayton Harding. The atmospheres of the Sharps office and the big celebrity events are both tense and filled with an air of elitism. This makes us wonder how the likes of Sidney Young could ever survive.
There is a strong contrast between Sidney Young's world and New York. Physically, Sharps is set out like an ordinary office and really here it is more about people's behaviour than fancy decor or bosses with plush offices and big leather chairs. I think more could have been done to create and intimidating atmosphere, but this might have just served as more of a distraction to the actual plot. The award ceremonies, however, were more convincing.
Although I have seen this film a few times, I cannot really remember the soundtrack very well, although I am sure it was not that bad.
In the UK the film gets a 15 rating. There are scenes involving drugs, nudity and implied sexual scenes/humour. There is also a fair amount of strong language. I think younger people would enjoy this film as it is quite funny and is not meant to be in any way a negative influence.
A must-see for Simon Pegg fans and a good film for anyone else. I found the film quite funny, although at times less in a laugh-out-loud way as awkward and cringe-worthy. It is also quite a touching film and the acting is not bad overall.
I'm actually not in a hurry to buy this film, since it has been shown a few times on the television recently. However, I might just pick up a copy at some point for the sake of having it in my Simon Pegg DVD collection (when I have one). You might wish to add this to your rental list if the humour appeals, but I would be more hesitant to recommend buying or spending a lot of money to see this film. I would still recommend watching this film on television if you do get the chance.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate people is a recent offering from Simon 'Shaun of the Dead' Pegg who stars in this British 'Comedy'.
Well, it's classed as comedy, however all that means is it's been made with the intention of making the audience laugh not that it will actually do so.
The film is based on the book by Toby Young and I've never read this so can not comment on the films accuracy however the film does not inspire me to read it.
Pegg stars as Sidney Young, a British journalist who's magazine prides itself on sending up the celebrity world. However, Sidney really craves to be part of that world and is his journalistic approach really based on jealousy? To get his material, Sidney gatecrashes celeb parties and after one particularly disastrous one involving an escaped pig (pretending to be the star of Babe 3), he is noticed by Clayton Harding (played brilliantly by Jeff Bridges), boss at high end celebrity magazine, Sharps of New York City who offers him a job. Hoping this will be his big break, Sidney takes the job and this is where the movie starts snowballing downhill. Against what he assumes, Sidney must start at the bottom, as he puts it.. photographing celebrities falling out of nightclubs. It seems unlikely he will ever work his way up in this world, as he's accident prone, always says / does the wrong thing to the wrong people, dresses badly etc etc... basically reminded me of Mr Bean just with speech.
After getting off to a poor start he ends up making a close friendship with colleague, Alison played by Kirsten Dunst, however his head is really turned by new star Sophie Maes played by Megan Fox. It's Sophie's publicist (played by Gillian Anderson) that makes him an offer of a scoop that could give Sidney the break he needs to work his way up the ladder, but is it going against what he believes, and when he gets to the top...will he even like it?
I really cannot see what the fuss is all about with this film. We've seen the hopeless, clumsy geeky Brit character trying to make it with the big people thing before. The cringe worthy situations and clichéd characters aren't new or even done well. There were certainly scarce laughs from, me more yawns than anything. The other thing that annoyed me was the mix of fact and fiction. There's a picture Sidney shows people of him with Clint Eastwood, well if he's Clint Eastwood.. then that's Megan Fox..and she's Kirsten Dunst surely??
I think this film could have had a lot of potential, commenting on the celebrity world, but it doesn't tell me anything new. What I'd have preferred is that Sidney never took the job at Sharps and we instead had the story of all those parties Sidney got chucked out of and the sniping stories he'd write in his own publication.
Overall, I would not recommend this film. I guess for the guys, if the plot and performances don't grab you, there's Megan Fox looking drop dead gorgeous as usual (jealous, moi?) but there's not that much for the girls to distract themselves with (sorry, Simon). For me the redeeming features were the too small part of Jeff Bridges, Kirsten Dunst playing a very convincing drunk and the star of the show...the pig.
I paid a whopping fiver for this from Blockbuster and was robbed. It's in the bargain bin in most stores as it rightfully should be.
How to Lose friends and Alienate People is a film that is based on a book of the same name written by British writer Toby Young. It is an autobiographical style tale of his quest to make it big in America as a writer for a major magazine. The title of the book and film is a parody of Dale Carnegie's famous book-How to Win Friends and Influence People. The film currently has a quite respectable score of 6.7/10 from 23,578 users on imdb.com
The film is the story of Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) who is a British journalist and starts off as a writer for his own alternative style magazine named Post Modern Reviews. He gets a job writing for an up scale magazine in America called Sharps magazine which is in total contrast to his own original magazine and also his beliefs. He is tasked with gatecrashing parties and helping to expose the shallowness of the celebrity world. Sidney has a knack of alienating people and generally does not seem to have a positive impression on the people he meets. What follows in the film his struggles and his quest to make it to the top and be successful in what he does. He also has his sights set on upcoming young actress Sopie Maes (Megan Fox). He also develops a friendship with fellow writer at Sharp Magazine Alison (Kirsten Dunst). Is Sidney cut out for the celebrity lifestyle and will he make it to the top?
This is an entertaining and funny film. It mixes elements of both British and American comedy and generally works quite well. It is a bit over the top at times and this is especially the case with Simon Pegg's character Sidney. His behaviour is outlandish and his remarks as well but they do lead to funny moments in the film. You can almost accept this behaviour in the character as he is trying so hard to be somebody and make himself known and successful but at some points it is a bit over the top.There are plenty of famous actors and actresses on show. There are cameo roles from James Corden and also Thandie Newton. There are famous American actresses in the form of Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox and Gillian Anderson. Dunst plays a good support role to Pegg's main character and does well in her role as writer and also later romantic interest. Megan Fox plays her role as a young and upcoming actress as you would expect. Being a real life young and attractive actress means this role wasn't too difficult for her to play. Jeff Bridges also plays the role of boss well. As well as the main comedy backdrop to the story is also a romantic story which goes alongside it. Overall it is not completely flawless but is an enjoyable film nonetheless and I would just about give it 4 out of 5 stars.
The DVD extras include commentary with Simon Pegg and the director, Deleted Scenes, Gag reel and Simon Pegg blogs which is a a video diary during the making of the film.
Directed by: Robert B. Weide
Toby Young (memoir)
Release date: October 3, 2008
Running time: 110 minutes
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Sydney Young is a journalist who owns his own British magazine but it is struggling as he likes to write about the stars in a different way. After he releases his latest article he gets a phone call from American Journalist and Publisher of Sharps magazine offering him a job. Sydney jumps at the chance of going to live in New York and soon sets off for him new life and new job.
He is in for a shock when he arrives for his first day at work as it is not what he expected. He meets Clayton Harding the top man and learns that he will be starting at the bottom with a small job in the Eye Spy section of the magazine. He meets fellow colleagues and right from the start he is not liked as his sense of humour and way of working is so different from the other staff. He does finally strike a friendship with Alison Olson who tries to help him but after meeting the editor of the eye spy section he is not happy. The section is run by Lawrence Maddox and Sydney soon gets put in his place. He does manage to get taken out where he meets and instantly falls for an up coming star called Sophie Maes but Lawrence will not let him get anywhere close to her.
Sydney is trying to fit in and be given the chance to work in his own way but he is still upsetting and other staff and even the top colleagues the magazine has. Will Sydney ever get his big break and will he ever get to have the date and time he wants with Sophie?
It was only by chance that I came to watch this film as it was on our Sky film channel a few days ago and for some reason I decided to record it. Finally I made time to sit and give it a watch and I have to say both me and hubby were very impressed with it. I think more so as we had not seen any trailers for the film or as the usual case is the best bits being shown to promote the film so we really had no expectations from the film.
Simon Pegg played the role of Sydney Young and he did a great job. I instantly took a liking to him and the way he worked. I did at times find he could be a little irritating with the way he would drool over the beautiful women and try to be a big name in the writing world but overall we was a good character and I loved how different he was to all the American roles. The other main role in this film for me was that of Alison who was played by Kirsten Dunst, she was another one who was easy to warm to and get to like. I enjoyed finding out about her background and what she did outside of the office as this gave her character some depth and did not leave her flat and boring. She worked well with Simon Pegg and I loved watching how their relationship grew during the film. They did have a lot of hatred and banter for each other at the start of the film and this did make for some very funny parts.
There were a lot of supporting actors in the film but only one or two which really stood out and these included the role of, Jeff Bridges as Clayton Harding as he was quite an unusual person to work out, I liked the authority he put out to the workers but there was something hiding behind his eyes which really wanted to come out and let him be dangerous with the magazine at times, Sophie Maes role was played by Megan Fox but I did not like her and felt she was so up herself but as this is what the character was supposed to come across like then she did a great acting job. Also the role of Lawrence who was played by Danny Huston was a good addition as he was very pompous and loved himself and he was a very good contract to the role of Sydney.
The film was set in America in New York and I loved the sights of the city which we got to see. I think a lot of time and effort went into the props and costumes for the film although there were no special ones used as the film was set in the present day. There were no real special effects in the film but for me the music was great, it was quite mixed with the use of old tracks from old films to the modern dance music which was used for the club scenes. It all fitted very well into the film and helped tell the story.
This film is a comedy and I have to say it was very funny at times, not all of the gags were spoken ones but a lot were made from the silly things Simon Pegg's character would do. I have to say the incident involving the dog had both me and hubby laughing out loud. I think some of the humour will only appeal to certain tastes as it is quite dry but some is also quite daft at times.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak of. The running time of the film is 110 minutes and I found this to be a great length as the story moved at a good pace from start to finish. The film has a 15 certificate and I do agree with this as some of the scenes are not suitable for the younger viewer. The film can be bought on DVD for under £5 from Amazon.
Overall I definitely recommend this film as it is along the lines of a male Devil Wears Prada film with the storyline. The acting is very good from the lead roles and it is very funny. I would say this is one for all fans of Simon Pegg as it has to be the best I have seen him in.
This Film falls under the romantic comedy genre, however, its not exactly a romantic film, sure that's the underlying story, but to be honest it could be called a lust comedy! Now im not actually a fan of Simon Pegg, I actually find most English comedies a bit dull and lacking in story.
~ The Plot ~
Please be warned I will talk about the ending, so if you have not seen a the film, look away now!
The basic story is about a working class man who is trying to make it in the big time, he is continuously showing up for celebrity parties, scheming his way in the mingle with the starts, then making up ridiculous stories to try to impress.
Sidney writes his own humour magazine, he happens to write a story about a top magazine boss Clayton Harding, which actually catches his eyes and lads him a job working for one of the top magazine companies. It Is here he meets Alison (Kirsten Dunst) she is very quiet and gets on with her job and fins Sidney very rude and arrogant, especially towards women.
Although as the film progresses Alison softens towards him, meanwhile Sydney is working his way up the company and landing great interviews. However his style is not liked by the company as they try to change him. Sydney is introduced to rising star Sophie Maes (Megan Fox), As soon as he sees her, that's it, he wants to bed her, he's desperate to get close to her and practically stalks her, but unfortunately hid efforts always seem to backfire and he end up killing her dog!
Meanwhile as Alison and Sydney draw a little closer, he fins out that she is having an affair with the
office boss Lawrence Maddox (Danny Huston) who is an absolute womaniser, and who Sydney absolutely hates!
Alison decides to leave Lawrence and Sydney is delighted, at this point the starts to fall for her, only to then find she has gone back to him as Lawrence has left his wife (or so she thinks, it turns out she actually left him.)
Towards the very end of the film, Sydney gets the life he wanted, hanging out with the rich and famous, but at the awards ceremony, as Sophie Maes is receiving her award, he no longer longs for her, and realises that the woman he loves is Alison
He sets of to find her, and they are reunited in the end.
~ The Main Characters ~
Sydney (Simon Pegg) - Sydney is a high flyer, only never had the right opportunities and going about everything the wrong way!, he is confident, he thinks he's a ladies man, but again, he has no ideas that he actually drives the ladies away with his sleazy ways. However deep down, he's actually really nice guy, a gentleman. He's loyal and caring towards his friends and you can see from the spark between him and Alison, that he just wants to be loved and doesn't actually enjoy the life he leads
Alison (Kirsten Dunst) - She is a lovely girl, hard working and keeps herself to herself, you can tell that she plays things quite safe and her relationship with her boss Lawrence shows that she is quite fragile and lonely. The Appearance of Sydney, a complete opposite show her things she has never felt or seen before. She learns that there is someone out there for her and that she is worth every bit of the effort.
Sophie (Megan Fox) - She is the modern day Paris Hilton, Sophie is a wild child and will pretty much do anything to make it in the film industry, she is young and attractive, and knows how to get what she wants. She can have the men eating out the palm of her hand within an instant, with no cares in the world, she thinks that everyone should bow down to her
Lawrence - 100% womaniser, he uses his power in the magazine industry to lure in the ladies, however Lawrence is married but you wouldn't think it how he goes off. He smothers himself around new girl Sophie with Alison on the other arm sitting and watching.
~ What I Thought ~
As I said before I don't tend to like English comedies, however this was actually quite funny. I think that Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst compliment each other very well, he being the funny guy and her being the elegant attractive girl.
Actually there characters in real life are similar to the films characters which is why it think it works so well, he is an extrovert, very funny and confident (just like Sydney) she is quiet, quite shy but sincere and hard working.
There are some bits in the film that I never would have expected, such as Alison having the affair with Lawrence, or Sydney almost sleeping with a man!
Overall I thought the film was good, the negative parts were that there went very many other people involved in the film, it seemed to centre around 4 actors/actresses but that's about it, it would have been good is there were others that made a bigger appearance in the film. I would have also like to have seen a bit more romance, at the end of the film they finally meet up, and the film ends. There was never much chasing involved and they just got together.
Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) is an English journalist who doesn't seem to be getting anywhere in life, he forges his way into A-List parties under the alias Clarke although he is frequently caught out and ejected in the most embarrassing of fashions. Sidney is just about to give up on his dream of becoming a high flying journalist when he receives an phone call from American magazine editor Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges). He offers Sidney a job in America working for Sharps magazines, one of the biggest magazines in the country.
On arrival Sidney manages to do the almost impossible and irritate every single person he's working with, this includes his strict new boss and his colleague Alison (Kirsten Dunst). Alison becomes somewhat of a mentor for Sidney, helping him out of all the sticky situations he frequently manages to find himself in and teaching him the ropes of the ever so difficult industry. To succeed in this industry Sidney must learn to hold his tongue (something he isn't too familiar with), suck up to the people higher than him and keep his head down as much as possible.
Not being the biggest fan of Simon Pegg, this film wasn't really on my radar despite seeing previews for when it was released. After seeing the previews the film reminded me greatly of The Devil Wears Prada, a film far superior to How To Lose Friend And Alienate People. Despite my prior scepticism regarding this film I ended up watching it and I have to say that it took me by surprise.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't Oscar worthy material, the script is questionable as is the acting and some of the gags fall flat but I have to admit that for a light-hearted comedy I thoroughly enjoyed it. Simon Pegg really impressed me in his role as the plucky, yet unfortunate journalist. He plays his role very well and shows that he is capable of playing a somewhat serious role instead of the numerous spoofs that he's appeared in previously. The character he played in this film however is distinctly similar to the character he played in Run Fat Boy Run, as a hapless yet kind hearted guy who just wants a break. Regardless of whether we may have witnessed Pegg in a similar role previously he does portray Sidney very well and gets the audience on side immediately with his 'I don't care what people think' attitude.
Pegg's female counterpart is played by Kirsten Dunst, I'm not a huge fan of her either what with her miscast appearances in the Spiderman franchise however she's actually extremely good in this film and was on of the most endearing characters in the film. We see some progression from her character which was necessary given her role in the movie however I feel that we don't really get to learn much about her character as the film only really scratches the surface. Dunst plays the potential love interest for Sidney, I didn't feel that they share an abundance of onscreen chemistry, nevertheless I do think they carried off their feelings for each other well and in a surprisingly subtle way.
Every man's fantasy Megan Fox was very well cast in this film as the beautiful airhead with a movie career that's going from strength to strength (ring any bells?), she does encapsulate the vain and ignorant essence of her character well however I feel that she was mocking the character more than actually portraying her. They weren't subtle about Maes's incompetence to be a decent human being either with the way she struts around, parading herself for all the men to see. They even gave her a Paris Hilton-esque Chihuahua to carry around as a cute accessory. I don't think that Megan Fox has done her career any favours by appearing in this movie.
Being a comedy I was expecting at least a few laughs; the film never seems to be able to reach a happy medium - it will either have you laughing out loud or staring expressionlessly at the screen. This was a bit of a problem for me because some of the jokes happened to be very funny, even if a bit predictable however some gags went way over the top. A scene where Sidney stands on top of a van drunkenly bellowing England at the top of his voice before falling backwards into a hedge failed to strike a chord with me. Despite it's similarities to The Devil Wears Prada, this film doesn't echo the clever, witty script but to be fair Simon Pegg is no Ann Hathaway and I wouldn't want him to be. Pegg is in his element in this sort of film and I also feel like he dealt with the more serious scenes very appropriately.
The movie does have it's more serious moments; a rift between Sidney and his Father is hinted at, at several occasions however when they share the screen a believable resentment doesn't really come across onscreen. The film seems to gloss over what could have been some emotional scenes by bringing in comedic escapism during almost every scene, I personally feel that it would have been nice to see some depth from the film because it has potential to be very emotional.
Overall this is a very enjoyable comedy film, it's by no means perfect but if you can look passed the lapse in depth, the exaggerated nature of all involved and the questionable acting from everybody but Pegg and Dunst then I'm sure you'll enjoy this as much as I did. This was a real surprise to me as I don't normally enjoy this genre of movie but given the chance I would gladly watch this again.
The DVD is available from play.com for £5.99 and for a pound extra you can purchase the Blu-Ray edition.
[ Film Only Review ]
~~~ Synopsis ~~~
Sidney Young a British writer who gets his big break working for a big time New York magazine. Starting from the bottom Sidney has to try and work his way to the top.
~~~ Cast ~~~
Sidney Young ... Simon Pegg
Alison Olsen ... Kirsten Dunst
Sophie Maes ... Megan Fox
Clayton Harding ... Jeff Bridges
Lawrence Maddox ... Danny Huston
~~~ My Thoughts ~~~
Firstly, Simon Pegg was excellent in this movie, as he always is. Playing the misunderstood Englishman he has to adapt to his new surroundings and ditch his unusual sense of humour. All the laughs in the film are a result of Pegg's character and all are very subtle, using mainly facial expressions and mannerisms to get the right effect.
Megan Fox isn't in the movie as much as I thought she was going to be, she plays more of a bit part role and the main leading lady role goes to Kirsten Dunst. Dunst plays her part well as a slightly confused woman unsure of which path to take in life.
The movie itself is also quite good. Apart from the funny moments, which occur every so often, the story is also okay. It's nothing spectacular and won't have you glued to the TV wondering how it's going to pan out.
~~~ Overall ~~~
It's a decent movie worth watching for some easy viewing. There are quite a few funny moments and everyone plays their parts well.
It's now being shown on Sky Movies, so if you have Sky watch out for it. Otherwise you can pick it up on Amazon for around £5.
I'm a big fan of Simon Pegg, I loved Spaced to death, I thought it was a ground breaking comedy that defined an era, I loved Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz too, but for me this film isn't the Simon Pegg I know, its a man playing a character specifically for an American audience.
Based on the memoirs of Toby Young, creator of the sarcastic and knowing Modern Review, who was moved to America to work for Graydon Carter at Vanity Fair, driven by his own sense of ego and desire to meet celebrities, the book is bitchy, knowing, funny, dishes the dirt on celebrities and shows Young to be the creator of his own downfall.
This adaptataion is a sanitised version of this with much of the language and situations changed somewhat to make them more appealing to mass markets. In the film Simon Pegg plays Sidney Young, a young journalist drawn from his student-esque magazine surroundings to the glamour of a big American magazine. Young is your typical fish out of water meeting transsexuals, spitting food over bigwigs daughters and annoying everyone around him.
This is a typical bland fish out of water story, with people commenting on Sidney's accent and lots of comedy set pieces to make up for the lack of funny lines. You can hear areas where Pegg has added his own flourishes to the script when talking about films, but overall the script is bland and a bit sickly, its more about Sidney making mistakes and realising his dreams of glamour and celebrity mean nothing and that life is about love, friendship and integrity.
Pegg has most of the screentime which is great, but his character has little depth and talks about satire whilst gurning like a fool, it lacks the starstruck ignorance of Young's tome which makes him appear a fool, albeit one who is well aware of this!
This is supposed to be a satire but has been turned into a lighthearted romantic comedy, it would be like turning The Great Gatsby into a caper flick, it doesn't work, it is weakly funny and just reaks of a desire to be liked, much like Young himself.
The supporting cast is good with Kirsten Dunst underworked as the friend who you know is much more, Jeff Bridges as the jaded magazine editor, Gillian Anderson as a PR woman and Megan Fox as a dizzy starlet. I found the film to be a bit weak, the script wasn't wonderful, the set pieces were funny but in a slightly weak way and Pegg's gurning and words belie his true talents.
Its not a patch on Pegg's other films and is nowhere near as good as the book either which is a real shame as the material was there to make this much more than a sickly sweet nudge at celebrity culture, its an opportunity missed and a disappointing film, there are extras and subtitles but being honest I was so disappointed in this adaptation I didn't check them, I rented this from Lovefilm but it can be bought for £5.98 on Amazon.
I rented this film off LoveFilm and was very disappointed unfortunately - so much so that we actually turned it off half-way through to watch something else. I've just watched the other half and I'm still not very impressed, although it did get slightly better. I was surprised to see a number of 5/5 ratings on here.
********** Where does the idea come from? **********
There is a very old book called 'How to Make Friends and Influence People' written by Dale Carnegie in 1937 which is about, well, how to be liked and how to be successful. It's essentially a sales book. Then in 2002, Toby Young wrote the book 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People' which was turned into a film in 2008 and directed by Robert B. Weide. Although it is a British film, it was filmed in America with American actors apart from Simon Pegg. The running time is 110 minutes and it's rated as a 15 certificate.
********** The Plot **********
Sidney Young (played by Simon Pegg) is a struggling British journalist who is most well-known for being hugely irritating and only getting stories from going to desperate measures such as crashing movie premieres with a pet pig, claiming that it is 'Babe'. Even with pig in tow he doesn't even make it into the after-parties most the time :-)
So Sidney constantly dreams of bigger and better things, and finds his dreams coming true when he is offered a post at a famous magazine in New York called Sharps. The film follows his new lifestyle and the characters he meets along the way.
********** The Verdict **********
For the first half of the film there didn't seem to be a clear plot or direction, it was all a bit haphazard and we didn't really see any point to it. It did get a bit better in the second half but not enough for me to rate this a good film.
Another problem I had, is that I didn't find it particularly enjoyable watching such an annoying main character who was fairly dislikeable. Again I think in the second half he became a bit more likeable and some would probably find his annoying character endearing - not me though I'm afraid.
On the plus side there were some pretty funny scenes but mainly just in the second half.
********** The Actors **********
I don't know much about Simon Pegg and it's a bit unfortunate that my first proper impression of him has been gained from watching this film, as it's not been a very positive one at all. He was irritating, not very likeable, and I felt like he over-acted. I'm sure many people would have found him really funny.
Megan Fox played a young, upcoming actress who has all the attention. She is absolutely gorgeous and although she is ditzy and shallow, this is the part she is supposed to be playing so I think she did a good job.
Kirsten Dunst is the other main girl in the film - the more intelligent, ambitious, more reserved type. Her acting is good if not a little predictable.
********** Conclusion **********
Not one of the absolute worst films I've seen, but I definitely won't be remembering this as a good film even though many other people seem to have rated it highly.
Based on Toby Young's memoirs about moving to America to join the staff of a large corporate celebrity magazine, Simon Pegg plays Sidney Young, a writer who employs every trick in the book to get into the premieres and big parties and interview the celebrities for his small-time but ballsy mag.
After donning a disguise and accidentely setting a pig loose at one of these parties, he is contacted by the big cheese of the business Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), the chief editor of Sharps magazine in New York, who wants Sidney to join his team to inject a dose of risk into Sharps' celebrity ass-kissing ways.
However, Clayton gets more than he bargained for with the young Brit, as Sidney bungles his way through the high-rise tower, upsetting the codes of the workplace (including hiring a stripper on take-your-children-to-work day) and confusing all of his workmates with his strange sense of humour.
While there, he tries to befriend Alison (Kirsten Dunst), even though they both initially dislike each other, and slowly they fall for one another - but love is never so easy.
Not when the dangerous publicist Eleanor Johnson (Gillian Anderson) and fame-hungry Sophie Maes (Megan Fox) are about, upsetting the balance.
It's really good to see Simon Pegg succeeding with the American audience, and there's not really anyone that deserves it more with his writing and acting talent, what with the fantastic TV series "Spaced" and movies "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz".
Those that he has not been involved in writing have either left him in minor supporting roles ("Mission Impossible 3" and "Star Trek") or have been fairly mediocre to poor ("Run, Fatboy, Run" and "Big Nothing"), so although I enjoy watching Simon Pegg a lot I was not expecting much from "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People".
So I ended up being happily surprised, as the movie does contain a good number of solid laughs and comes across as fairly believable as well - it makes fun of both a Brit in the big city and shallow corporate Americans at the same time.
Pegg is very good here, utilising a combination of both physical comedy and witty one-liners, his style of comedy 'confusing' the New Yorkers no end which makes it all the more amusing.
Kirsten Dunst is also very good, someone I've never really seen as a stand-out performer, but against Pegg she works very well, coming across as both strong and fragile at the same time.
Someone who I thought would just melt into the background and disappear was Jeff Bridges as the corporate big-cheese who secretly admires the young Sidney Young's actions as they remind him of his livelier youth.
Bridges comes across as thoroughly dominating, bored of his 'safe' life and only chastising Pegg out of a need to live up to the job rather than disagreeing with his actions.
His long graying hair suits him too.
Then there's sex-on-legs Megan 'foxy' Fox playing a character I can't imagine is too far from the real thing, flaunting herself for the press and manipulating the men around her to get what she wants.
Rather than admiring her performance of herself, she's far too buttered up and I pretty much ended up despising her - Kirsten Dunst is the eye-candy here, looking a lot less pampered and better off for it.
Although "How to Lose Friends..." does have its funny bits, sadly it didn't really have enough of them to make it as a straight comedy - really this is a dramedy and comes across as fairly realistic.
The banter between the characters is always very good, and it's a suitably heart-warming rom-com that can be enjoyed by all.
The DVD is a fairly safe purchase as a birthday gift, so give it a try!
[The DVD can be purchased from play.com for £5.99 (at time of writing), including postage and packing]
I have to say, I didn't like this film; apart from maybe a few minute segments. It was badly written, badly casted, and didn't really have anything great going for it! The public don't lie either. The film grossed 40% less than its production budget, and to be honest I don't even remember seeing it advertised in the cinema anywhere.
It's filled with awkward stilted jokes, and mainly played on the fact that there was a stupid Englishman in America; that was the nub of the joke. It went wrong where TV Shows like Ugly Betty go right, and that's all that really can be said.
Simon Pegg is an amateur actor, at best. This film exacerbates his inability to play anyone but a bumbling, idiotic, and immature individual. But I don't want this review to be merely a criticism of him, because of course it is merely the writers and casting crew that have done this film and injustice because if it had been done with a little bit of class and charisma it might have done a little bit better at the Box Office!
Simon Pegg stars in yet another comedy, this time as Sydney Young; a try-hard journalist who writes a magazine about any dirt he can find on celebrities but usually the honest truth. An unexpected phone call later and he's working in New York for a high class and prestigious magazine, Sharps. Sydney isn't exactly warmed to. His very British sense of humor and more casual appearance leads to him being seen as a joke. His boss, Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges) is a mature version of Sydney and I thought suited the role very well. His only glimmer of friendship is with Alison (Kirsten Dunst) a no-nonsense co-worker and Sydney's new obsession; Sophie Maes (Megan Fox).
Pegg creates a very likeable and funny character with some of the choice of scenes letting him down if anything else. The scene with Sophie's dog in the office, for example, was something that maybe should have been in the deleted scenes.
It was fairly enjoyable, mainly because Pegg always performs well but Kirsten Dunst was also an excellent choice. She fits her role perfectly. Megan Fox was more or less eye candy and doesn't have many lines and Dunst is a much better actor so they got that the right way around.
It's another one of those movies that you watch and don't expect much but still finish entertained.
Me and the other half finally got round to watching this last night after it sitting on the side for over 2 weeks. I wasn't overly keen to watch it and didn't have great expectations however I am glad to say that I was wrong and it was an enjoyable film with a good plot. Although I watched this on DVD this is a film only review as I never bother with the extras.
The film follows Sidney Young, a thirty something journalist who currently works for a magazine who pick fun at celebrities and those who are obsessed with their every move. However, this all changes when Sidney is offered a job on the other side of the pond in New York, for glossy celebrity magazine, Sharps.
Upon arrival, people at the magazine are less than impressed with Sidney. His British humour and his not overly good looks do not fit in with them and he finds it increasingly difficult to make friends. There is one person, Alison who slightly warms to him but she is not keen to let him know this! Sidney has a slight obsession with film star Sophie Maes and will do anything to win her over however, a number of fluffed chat up lines and one dead chiuaua later, it doesn't look like he will ever get his girl.
I actually really enjoyed this film, Pegg is brilliant as the hapless Sidney and there are a great deal of wonderful one liners that provide great light hearted relief. The film really is laugh a minute and there are some fantastic comedy scenes.
The film stars Simon Pegg as Stanley, Megan Fox, Kirsten Dunst and Jeff Bridges. It was released in 2008 with the DVD being released in March 2009 and is rated a 15, there is some strong language in this and a number of scenes which are of a sexual nature. The run time of the film is 110 minutes which I believe to be just right as the film ran smoothly and did not drag on. The plot was fast paced and overall, the film was a very enjoyable watch. It is available from Amazon for just £4.98.
After making his name with the superb comedy Shaun of the Dead, and the middling follow up, Hot Fuzz (as well as the TV show that preceded both - Spaced), Simon Pegg has very much made it, extending to him getting roles across the pond, chiefly in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which is based upon British writer Toby Young's 2001 memoir of the same name, where he attempts to make in the U.S. working at a famous magazine.
In the film, which actually changes a lot of names and details, Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) is a modest journalist with aspirations to one day ditch the small political magazine he works for and "make it big" at one of the large American magazines. Curiously, it is a seemingly horrible faux pas - in letting a pig loose at a party - that he's hired by the prestigious Sharps magazine in New York City, helmed by Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), a man Sidney himself berated in his previous publication.
My main complaint with this film is simply that it had so much more potential - with the transatlantic bent, it could very well have examined the differences between the British and the Americans in a very subversive and clever way, but instead resorts to stating the obvious. The romantic plot, where Sidney is faced with hard edged Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst), lacks bite also - there's not much chemistry here, and, well, Dunst just isn't that attractive either (in my humble opinion). Pegg tries his best, but the pratfalls and lowest common denominator script don't really do the film any favours.
Simon Pegg's performance elevates this cliched and thoroughly predictable comedy, although a far smarter film was possible, particularly in regard to examining across-the-pond relationships, and the film's saccharine and idealistic ending.