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on January 2, 2012
I've seen Richard E. Grant in Henry & June as well as The Player.
These were both roles in which he indulged in heavy drama, and did
very well in both.
How to Get Ahead in Advertising is the first time I've seen Grant as
a comedic player, and I laughed until I fell off the couch. His paranoid,
bug-eyed antics and gestures are unparalleled; considering how he
verbally abuses his female consumer base, the huge boil mocking him
in the mirror is a fitting revenge. Watch and enjoy!
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on December 10, 2012
I first saw this movie close to 20 years ago and I've been quoting it ever since. It's nice to finally have it on DVD so it's not gone forever...
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on January 19, 2011
An odd, but favorite film!
Definitely not formula.
Great cast.
Look for One Foot in the Grave star, Richard Wilson (Victor Meldrew), in a quite different role.
And much more.
Open your mind and enjoy!
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on December 26, 2012
Love this movie. One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. To this day a favorite. Richard E. Grant is amazing!
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on April 10, 2016
One of the few movies where you can get some truth. I like the beginning intro where he talks about making bad food seem healthy by making it have more of something or by having less of something. Today we promote food low in fat but it has a lot of sugar and we wonder why everyone has diabetes. Sea salt is natural but Joe Public goes for the man made salt because it has iodine. Besides sea salt has sodium so eat man made sweetners and stay away from peanuts because of the deadly peanut allergies...in fact lets add some sugar to plain peanut butter. The documentary That Sugar Film talks about his liver turning fatty from eating food labeled healthy promoted foods. Fatty livers is a common thing with diabetics.
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on October 26, 2010
"Greed has installed its lackeys into the highest offices of this land, and they're conducting a crime wave of unprecedented ferocity. Anywhere you want to look they're at it. Oil companies sold as champions of the environment. Wild animals prancing through the woodlands. Meanwhile the filth from their cars is wiping out half the forests of Europe... I've forgotten what I was going to say.."

"I beleive you were about to explain why hamburgers are going to be the cause of World War III.."

"That's right you cynical b@stard... Destruction of the rainforest by hamburgers is going to lead to a world crisis, and the commodity will be oxygen..."

This is kind of an interesting film for any who have argued with inner demons (and who hasn't?). It's significant due to the particular demon (or boil in this case) which this man is dealing with. That 'demon' is the ugly head of manipulative advertising and greed which this film hilariously, though in no uncertain terms, condemns. It is a watchable film and gets funnier as it progresses. Funny, but not without its grains of morbid truth, which is why on the level of significance and in terms of the caliber of it's script, acting and cinematography it's a 5-star feature (and deserves Criterion treatment). While I did find myself laughing a good number of times at the absurdity of some of the situations, I have seen funnier and more entertaining movies. Still it is a high caliber production of one of the more over-the-top and original of black humor films, and with a message that seems to be gaining more attention even now some 20 plus years after this was made in 1988 (see "The Joneses", or "The Corporation"). Besides being a condemnation of marketing's shady techniques, it lambasts our beloved television as well (for another movie that did that well see "Network"). I'd give "How To Get A Head.." two thumbs up to the right audience. It's well worth seeing.
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on October 4, 2012
Well first off if you don't care for dry British humor than this movie is not for you. The late Beatle George Harrison was one of the Executive Producers of this movie. I had not seen this movie in years and just had to have it on DVD. I had forgotten actually just how funny it was. This movie is totally off the wall in a manner of speaking here. And expect the unexpected at all times when viewing. Would I recommend this movie to the masses? Probably not because like I said here if you do not like dry British humor this movie is not for you. If you are a fan of the late Benny Hill or Monty Python than you will like this for sure. For me, I give it 5 stars across the board.
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on October 29, 2014
This is the movie I go back to when I am in a deep dark hole. There is one scene in the kitchen when the character is freaking out that sends me into laughing hysteria. I laugh and cry so hard I give myself an asthma attack and have to stop and calm done before finishing the film. I'm consider it effective laugh therapy!
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on March 16, 2012
A comedy of morals set in the world of advertising.
Despite being fully aware that it's a send-up, the naked truth of some of the dialogue helped blow away the last shards of advertising credibility for me.
"Let me try and clarify some of this for you.
Best company supermarkets are not interested in selling wholesome foods. They are not worried about the Nation's health. What is concerning them is that the nation appears to be getting worried about it's health. That is what is worrying Bestco, because Bestco want to carry on selling them what it always has, i.e. white bread, baked beans, canned foods, and that supperating, grease-squirting heart attack traditionally known as 'the British sausage.
So... How can we help them with that?
Clearly we are looking for a label' . We need a label that is brimming with health - and everything from the 'Nosh-Pot' to white bread will wear it with pride...."

The construction of the Movie is the thing that always impresses me, the way it totally makes sense within it's own twisted logic. If here's one criticism I have then it's the limited scope: there's not really anything that doesn't relate to the main plot. Some viewers might also be looking for an external conflict, an exciting conclusion, when really this is a story about metamorphosis.
Reservations stated, it's still so original that it deserves all the the glowing plaudits it gets.

p.s. What are some of the * and ** reviewers looking for? A Mercedes Benz being blown up? A gunfight? Some comedy pratfalls at a golf club? A love story? The beauty of this piece is that it doesn't fit into any satirizable genre.
and whoever posted - "John Cleese plays dual roles" - thank you (whispered aside) I don't know what you were watching, but he's not actually in the movie....
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on February 13, 2013
I remember watching this movie back in the day. It made a big impact on my humor. I watched it again the other day and the scene where the main character meets his antagonist was so hilarious I was crying from laughter. This movie is funny, disturbing, odd, thought-provoking, and still pertinent 20 years later.

I love this movie. It's truly a favorite.
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