Customer Reviews: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
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on February 17, 2009
I missed this in the theaters, even though my girlfriend and I are huge Simon Pegg fans. Unfortunately the way it was marketed when released made me think it was a romantic comedy / follow-up to the Devil Wears Prada. I also had no idea that Simon Pegg was the film's lead (which would have been a driving factor to get me into the theater). With that said, I really enjoyed the overall feel of the film and found it far more entertaining than Run Fatboy Run, a film which didn't allow Pegg to do what he does best ... which is be damn funny.

While not in the same genre of films that Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead blazed into, this film is a nice balance between a mild romantic comedy and some stinging satire regarding the ridiculous relationship between print media and Hollywood's elite. It's definitely worth watching for Pegg's performance, and Kirsten Dunst is far more likeable here than in the latest Spider-man film, playing a more complex and human character than MJ part trois.

In regards to the low rating the film is currently seeing on Amazon, I can only say that it's disappointing the film didn't do well in theaters, but regardless of the lack of extras and tomfoolery going on with MGM's home entertainment management, it's a shame that people are rating the film so poorly. Unfortunately, if people just see the listing for this film with a paltry two stars and don't go on to read the reviews they'll miss out on a refreshing and entertaining comedy starring one of England's funniest, freshest and most talented actors.

On a side note, I'm continually impressed with the range of actor Jeff Bridges' in his portrayal of various characters in his many film roles. His turn as the villain in Iron Man was memorable and I found his portrayal of media mogul Clayton Harding to be entertaining and an excellent compliment to Pegg's hilarious Sidney Young. Definitely worth your time to rent and perhaps even own if MGM gets smart about releasing a revision of the DVD with proper extras (or how bout a Blu-ray edition MGM ... I'm sure we'd all eat that right up!)
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on July 10, 2012
Simon Pegg stars as Sidney Young, a hack writer with a British celebrity magazine whose only desire is to be with the people he trashes in his columns. Clayton (Jeff Bridges) is the successful editor of New York celebrity magazine. He offers Sidney a job which he accepts. Sidney quickly discovers he is way out of his league and if he doesn't shape up he will lose his job. Kirsten Dunst plays Simon's boss who sees him as a zero and would like to see him fail. Meagan Fox plays an actress that Simon would like to get close to at any cost.

Simon can do no right, sort of an obnoxious Mr. Bean. However as the story progresses we discover that Simon isn't as shallow as our first impression. His turn around and redemption is what turns this film from a romp to a heart warming tale.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, no sex, nudity (Margo Stilley)
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on September 17, 2011
Let me begin by saying that I now think that movie is even funnier since it is based on Toby Young's book and his experience in NY!! His interview is in itself hilarious!

Simon Pegg has a talent for playing characters that are just clueless, somewhat out of touch with reality, with a hint of loser! He just does it very well!!! Throw that into the quick pace lifestyle of the big apple and those characteristics become even more profound!

I will have to say that I am not really a romantic comedy type person, but the comedy side of this movie far outweighs the romance! There were some laugh out loud scenes for me, like when Simon coughs with his mouth full on the lady's overcoat... even funnier that he can't leave it alone! The scene where he gets smashed at a fourth of July party and get up and starts singing `England England England' was hilarious to me... what a complete Wally! The scene with the dog in the office is funny too! But for all those who said that there were no laugh out loud scenes, what do you call the two scene with the transvestite!? Absolutely hilarious!! (especially the stripper prank!) What a wally!!

On the more serious side, Simon's character is very serious about what he does and is uncompromising and that becomes more and more obvious as the movie progresses... you find out that his character is actually deeper than you imagined!! I liked how the movie portrays Simon as a person who is unwilling to let go of his principles in the corporate rat race... I think the movie does an excellent job of capturing the struggles that most people have to go through in terms of either selling out and climbing the corporate ladder or retaining their morals and principles and staying at the bottom of the corporate food chain! I feel your pain Sydney Young!

I really liked that the movie ended with comedic closing note rather than a romantic one... to be honest it is a romantic comedy that most guys can enjoy with their significant others! Once the movie was over and I had a big smile on my face, my wife turned to me and said `SEE! You can enjoy romantic comedies!'

A very funny but meaningful movie that I enjoyed watching and I'm sure that I will watch it again!
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on December 12, 2013
Simon Pegg is a talented and likeable comedian and actor, and I will watch literally anything he is in. That said, this movie is not up to his standards. He was so underused in this film. As others have mentioned, it's predictable romantic fare with a scarce few moments where SP can really showcase his skills, comedy or otherwise - I found it more or less enjoyable, but it was fluff with a few nice moments. I watched it for SP, and I got the added bonus of the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges (who is also underused in his role). The movie itself is kind of tepid. Kirsten Dunst is the female lead, and while I think she seems like a genuinely decent person, I've always been put off by her as an actress.

In the end, though, in my opinion this movie is still heaps better than much of what passes for "romantic comedy" out there. (Any herein unnamed rom com containing Katherine Heigl and/or Gerard Butler, I'm looking at you.) If you've got $2.99, a couple of hours to spare, and a deep personal need to watch everything in the Peggster's catalog, go ahead and rent it.
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on December 12, 2014
However, this dvd titled How To Lose Friends & Alienate People touches on the delicate issue of how far can a person reasonably go when aiming for greatness and making a memorable contribution in one’s career. Simon Pegg plays a British journalist who goes to great lengths to make a name for himself in the career arena. The front of the dvd also lists Kirsten Dunst, Danny Huston, Gillian Anderson, Megan Fox, and Jeff Bridges as actors/actresses who star in this film. The following are some of the bonuses associated with this dvd: Audio Commentary With Director Robert Weide and Star Simon Pegg, Audio Commentary With Director Robert Weide, and Sharp Interviews-Making of Featurette. Internet Movie Database lists the movie being inspired by Toby Young’s memoir “How To Lose Friends and Alienate People” and I read somewhere online that this movie was also inspired by a real-life publicist (Gillian Anderson’s character portrayal).
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on June 23, 2015
I really disliked this film. What a waste of a cast.

Simon Pegg plays Sidney Young, an obnoxious lout prone to always saying and doing the wrong thing but--for some reason--believes he should be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. Jeff Bridges plays the publisher of a powerful NYC magazine who--for some reason--hires Sidney and brings him to America to work for him. Kirsten Dunst's character swings wildly from strong working woman to drunken, crying sloppy seconds who--for some reason--falls for Sidney. Megan Fox plays a dim but savvy movie starlet who--for some reason--agrees to have sex with Sydney if she wins an award.
These are characters who aren't real characters: they're just doing whatever the script tells them to do. And it's not all that funny.

When a movie like A FISH CALLED WANDA takes a look at Brits interacting with Yanks, it's comedy gold. In this film, it's just confusing. I was constantly asking myself: do they really see us that way???
And who would put up with a sloppy, dim-witted, selfish boor like Sydney for five seconds at a prestigious magazine?
Was the only reason Kirsten's character fell for him because she was in a worse relationship with a married man?

Unfunny and annoying.
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on July 20, 2013
Hard to believe that a movie with Simon Pegg could drag, but here it is. There were plenty of jokes, but no timing. As in the build-up was so belabored, I was bored by the time the punch line arrived.
Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead kept you guessing every minute. Here all I could do was count the minutes.
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WHAT A FUN SURPRISE!!! This is such a clever movie with a great script and hilarious, laugh-out-loud dialogue! Half the time it wasn't just the dialogue that was laugh-out-loud, it was simply the look on Simon Pegg's face or one of the situations. Pegg is a brilliant British comedian (Shaun of the Dead), and this is one of my new favorite movies.

There is a very impressive cast, too, such as Gillian Anderson, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox and Jeff Bridges who are all excellent in their roles. But the real stars of this movie are Simon Pegg and a very entertaining, surprising script! I highly recommend this movie.
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on February 20, 2015
I stumbled on to this movie on one of the "Point 2" channels on TV and was enjoying it enough that my wife and I wanted to see "the whole movie", so we rented it. Well, worth the $2.99 !
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on March 25, 2014
I like Simon Pegg. I think he's a naturally funny comedic actor. But, like most actors, he sometimes ends up in a movie that just doesn't work. That's the case here.

Here's the scoop. Pegg is the publisher of a bargain basement entertainment industry rag. Because of a stunt he pulled, that ended in a real disaster, he gets hired on by a top shelf American entertainment rag run by Jeff Bridges. He's a fish out of water in the new job and one blunder leads to another as he tries to pursue his dream.

Given the set-up, this should have been a slam dunk. It's been done many times before, so the story should take care of itself. It's cookie cutter stuff. The focus should then shift to how they use the talents to pull off the gags. The opening 25 minutes or so are a riot. Pegg is as good as he's ever been, but then things go south. This does get messy. The writer/director doesn't seem to know how to play things. For instance, in the third act, you find out something about Pegg that is way counter intuitive to how he behaves. That's just bad character development. Then there are other items that seem to be crucial set-ups for events to come later. Nope. They just let them die. And the ending?! You've got to be kidding me. Lazy. How about Pegg's rise in the ranks. At one point he was on the short end of a pink slip. Now he's at the top for no apparent reason. Go figure.

Kirsten Dunst, Danny Huston do genuinely decent jobs, Bridges, as much as I like him, wasn't invested in this role. The writing certainly didn't help him. Everything else is on par with the project. This fails at the script level.

This isn't a painful watch but your time might be better spent somewhere else.
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