‘How to lose friends and alienate people’ is based on the memoirs of Toby Young, a British writer given his big break at one of New York’s biggest magazine.
The role of Toby (who’s named Sidney Young in the film), is played by Simon Pegg. The film follows Sidney from his days in London as editor of the failing title ‘Post Modern Review’ to his meteoric rise to Sharps Magazine in New York, under the watchful eye of Clayton Harding (played by Jeff Bridges).
Sidney’s love interest Allison, is played by Kirsten Dunst, and the film also features a supporting cast of Megan Fox, Gillian Anderson, and Thandie Newton.
I found ‘How to lose friends and alienate people’ a nice enough film – it’s by no means as funny or off-the-wall as Pegg’s other films with Nick Frost, like ‘Hot Fuzz’ or ‘Shaun of the Dead’ – but it’s light-hearted an enjoyable. Pegg’s portrayal of Sidney as a bumbling, socially inept Englishman with incredibly thick skin is great, and appears even more so compared with the Hollywood supporting cast.
Generally, though, this is a film I would recommend to watch on DVD on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Some of the jokes were pretty one dimensional, and relied heavily on slapstick, which was ‘cringeworthy’ at times. It was a shame that the supporting case was not featured more in the film – Gillian Anderson was particularly sharp and calculating as talent agent Eleanor Johnson, and Jeff Bridges’ Clayton Harding was just the right side of manic.