Based on the memoir of Vanity Fair writer Toby Young, How to Lose Friends follows Sidney Young, editor of a British satire magazine who is hired by a glitzy New York celebrity gossip rag. What begins as a parody of the self-importance of celebrity eventually devolves into a so-so romantic comedy, but with decent performances. Pegg is endearingly oafish, Dunst is sharp, Fox is convincing as the air-headed “It Girl,” and Anderson and Huston play the sleazy Hollywood schmoozer-type to a T. Unfortunately, the plot is nothing new (if you can’t guess the outcome about halfway through, you probably aren’t paying attention), the pacing is haphazard, and humor isn’t as sharp as it could be. Be sure to stick around during the credits for the most biting bit of satire, the trailer for Fox’s character’s new movie, Teresa, The Making of a Saint. Delicious. A good cast squandered on a somewhat disappointing film.
Film Review: “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People”
(MGM. 1 hour, 49 minutes. Rated R for language, some graphic nudity and brief drug material. Directed by Robert B. Weide.) Simon Pegg (Sidney Young), Kirsten Dunst (Alison Olsen), Jeff Bridges (Clayton Harding), Megan Fox (Sophie Maes), Danny Huston (Lawrence Maddox), Gillian Anderson (Eleanor Johnson). Music by David Arnold.