Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (Robert B. Weide, 2008) Review

Simon Pegg does America. Sure, Paul did it and, frankly, it did it better but that's not to say this is a bad film. It's taken more seriously here and it pays off. This film is loosely based on the life of writer and editor Toby Young while on his five year run in America as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine. After the average Run Fatboy Run, it's good to see a solo Pegg film that actually is comparable to other films he's done.

Sidney Young (Simon Pegg), as previously mentioned, is a British writer for different magazines. When some of his previous work is observed is moved to America from his cameo filled office (seriously there was a surprising amount of cameos from other actors) in order to work for the popular Vanity Fair magazine, run by Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges). Sidney fails to fit into his new office and is constantly an annoyance to his co-workers including Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst). Shenanigans arise when Sidney tries to cope in America and do well in his new job.

The main message, if you can call it that, I gather from this film is the clash between humour from different cultures. Obviously, Simon Pegg uses British humour which was previously seen in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Now that he's in America, his humour does bode to well for the American magazine. Paul got away with it due to the context of having two British nerds on a road trip, this is business and has to be taken seriously. Comic actors such as James Corden and Chris O'Dowd make some hilarious cameos which shows that it doesn't forget that, deep down, it's a British comedy film. 

I was surprised by some of the acting in this film. Now Simon Pegg and Jeff Bridges were just as I expected.      They play very likeable and fun characters. The real surprise was Kirsten Dunst. She plays a well written character that you really get to like and get one with (you know, if you worked with her). It's good to see Kirsten Dunst playing strong, independent characters unlike certain ones that may or may not have featured in the Spider-Man films. And then there's Sophie Maes, played by Megan Fox. She's just playing herself! I honestly think that she is an overrated actress who is only popular for her looks and even then I don't think she's that good looking...well...as good as everyone claims she looks. 

It's definitely not Simon Pegg's best film but it isn't his worst either. It's good to see him in a some what serious film, kind of like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show or Yes Man. The rest of the cast and characters are excellent and fun to watch (Clayton Harding being my favourite) and it's good to see a combination of both British and American humour. It's an enjoyable film that was a treat to watch. I would recommend it to anyone with a great sense of humour...you never know, you might end up relating to it (I don't work for a magazine so obviously I don't relate).

Not Simon Pegg's best but it's still great fun for those who can get into it and appreciate it's humour.

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