6.4/10
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How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)

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A British writer struggles to fit in at a high-profile magazine in New York City.

Director:

Robert B. Weide

Writers:

Peter Straughan (screenplay), Toby Young (book)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelan Pannell Kelan Pannell ... Young Sidney
Janette Scott ... Sidney's Mother (archive footage)
Danny Huston ... Lawrence Maddox
Simon Pegg ... Sidney Young
Megan Fox ... Sophie Maes
Gillian Anderson ... Eleanor Johnson
Kelly Jo Charge Kelly Jo Charge ... Apollo Awards Presenter
Christian Maier Smith Christian Maier Smith ... Apollo Awards Guest
Katherine Parkinson ... PR Woman
Felicity Montagu ... Clipboard Nazi
Thandie Newton ... Thandie Newton
John Lightbody ... Assistant Hotel Manager
Ian Bonar Ian Bonar ... Post Modern Review Staff
James Corden ... Post Modern Review Staff
Fenella Woolgar ... Post Modern Review Staff
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Storyline

Sidney Young is a disillusioned intellectual who both adores and despises the world of celebrity, fame and glamor. His alternative magazine, "Post Modern Review", pokes fun at the media obsessed stars and bucks trends, and so when Young is offered a job at the diametrically opposed conservative New York based "Sharps" magazine it's something of a shock! It seems "Sharps" editor Clayton Harding is amused by Young's disruption of a post-BAFTA party with a pig posing as Babe. Thus begins Sidney's descent into success - his gradual move from derided outsider to confidante of starlet Sophie Maes. Initially helping him out at Sharps is colleague Alison Olsen, who has her own secret. Wither their friendship? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brace yourselves, America. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some graphic nudity and brief drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kako izgubiti prijatelje i otuđiti se od ljudi See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,154,607 (United Kingdom), 5 October 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,430,294, 5 October 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,778,752, 11 December 2008

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,286,299, 15 March 2009
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Simon Pegg was approached to play the role of Young back in 2004 for a stage version, but this conflicted with shooting on Shaun of the Dead (2004). See more »

Goofs

At the stately home, when Sydney says, "Do you want another drink?" and she says, "Yeah, I'll have a half of lager.", he gets up and touches her on the shoulder, with his fingers pointing down the front of her dress. In the next shot, with his hand still on her shoulder, his fingers are now pointing down her back. See more »

Quotes

Sidney Young: When I was a kid, I used to think there was a special place where all the movie stars lived. A kind of "Shangri La". And if you could just get inside there, you'd be happy. Forever.
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Connections

References Full Metal Jacket (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Heavy Like Sunday
Written by Leona Naess and Samuel Dixon
Performed by Leona Naess
Courtesy of Polydor UK Ltd
Under licence from Universal Music Operations
Published by Chrysalis Music/EMI Music/Universal Music Publishing MGB Ltd (c) 2008 Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pegg brings his great comedy to Sharpe story
30 April 2009 | by StampsfightclubSee all my reviews

Sidney Young (Pegg) moves from England to New York to work for the popular magazine Sharpe's in a hope to live his dream lifestyle but struggles to make a lasting impression.

Based on Toby Young's book about survival in American business, this comedy drama received mixed views from critiques. Labelled as inconsistently funny but with charm by the actors, how to lose friends seemed as a run of the mill fish out of the pond make fun at another culture comedy, but it isn't.

This 2008 picture works on account of its actors and the simple yet sharp story. We start off in the past, then in the present and are working our way forwards to see how Young made his mark at one of America's top magazines.

Pegg (Hot Fuzz) is too likable for words. Whether it's hitting zombies with a cricket bat or showing his sidekick the nature of the law the English actor brings a charm and light heartedness to every scene. Here, when the scripting is good but far from his own standards, he brings a great deal of energy to the picture and he alone is worth watching for. His antics with "Babe 3" are unforgivable, simply breathtaking stuff as is his over exuberant dancing, but he pulls it off splendidly.

Bridges and Anderson do well at portraying the stereotypical magazine bosses where Dunst fits in nicely to the confused love interest. Megan Fox, who stole Transformers, reminds everyone she can act here with a funny hyperbole of a stereotype film star. The fact that her character Sophie Myles is starring in a picture about Mother Teresa is as laughable as her character's antics in the pool. To emphasize the point there is a dog, and Pegg rounds that off in true Brit style comedy, with a great little twist.

Though a British film there is an adaptation of American lifestyle for Young as he tries to fit in and we can see the different approaches to story telling. Young wants the down right dirty contrasted with the American professionalism. The inclusion of modern day tabloid stars will soon make this film dated but the concept of exploitation of film star's gives this edge.

Weide's first picture is not perfect. There are lapses in concentration as the plot becomes too soapy with an awkward obvious twist and there are too many characters to be necessary. The physical comedy can also be overdone. As a side note, the bloopers on the DVD are some of the finest you will ever see, which are almost half an hour long.

This comedy drama has Simon Pegg on shining form again and with the collective approach to story telling and sharp comedy, it is worth watching.


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