Hollywood peddles cliches but tries to package it interestingly. How To
Lose Friends And Alienate People is a comedy with Hollywood looking at the
mirror. But what we see is far less interesting, not so funny and not very
The movie is based on a book of the same name by Toby Young who worked for Vanity Fair.
We are not sure what message the movie is presenting but we can be certain it`s nothing new. British actor Simon Pegg stars as Sydney Young and first time feature film director Robert Weide, whose only previous experience was filming episodes of the TV show Curb Your Enthusiasm, takes the helm. Pegg is popular in Britain and this movie was his attempt at a breakthrough in the US. He is going to have to try harder.
Sidney (Pegg) is an eccentric journalist covering celebrities in Britain who resorts to such antics as bringing a pig to a party claiming its from `Babe 2 who gets an unexpected call from Sharps magazine editor Clay Harding (Jeff Bridges) from the US. On arrival Sydney fails to make an impression and instead manages to make everyone around him loathe him. But he manages to fall in love with his colleague Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst). He is also sexually attracted to the vapid Sophie Maes (Megan Fox).
The movie works when it tries to comment on the hypocrisies and the ridicule of celebrity culture but fails miserably when it tries it make it into a coherent plot.
There are moments where the movie shines but also meanders and sputters when it tries to maintain a plot. The romantic angle is woefully under-developed and Dunst`s character is half baked. With such ample fodder to critique as celebrity culture, the movie surprisingly and maybe even unfortunately doesn`t have enough bite.
The actors don`t fare too well either and that is mainly because they are served with a very poor script. There are some fine actors here like Bridges, Dunst and Gillian Anderson of The X Files. But they are wasted and most of the time are playing caricatures.
Pegg manages to be annoying and endearing at the same time. His scenes with Dunst are the most disappointing. The surprise of the movie is Megan Fox. She was recently voted the sexiest women alive and she sizzles here. She has a few scenes but is convincing as the vapid, shallow fame seeker.
The movie does have its moments though.