How to Lose Friends and Alienate People PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Hisham Qaddoumi   
Friday, 10 April 2009 01:22

How to Lose Friends and Alienate PeopleA Personal View

Such a bizarre title for a movie! That’s what I first thought when I saw the DVD cover. It looked like a freak program like the ones you get from professionals to “improve your life”, but this one is intended to ruin it. I cannot think in someone other than Simon Pegg to introduce this bizarre idea.

Simon who I knew in “Shaun of the Dead” and “Run Fat Boy, Run” is exceeding the limits of freakiness in this movie to give a sample of the person who is ambitious but ignorant, stubborn and somehow careless with a touch of comedy. Such character you see every day but normally with no humor. Simon is now giving it the laughs it used to lack.

The Story

A reporter / co-owner of a very small British magazine, which interested in celebrities. The interest is common but also bizarre: it reveals the celebrities secrets and scandals not to get famous but to “piss them of”. Sydney Young, normally goes with an alias “Clark Baxter”, always tries to get into the celebrities lives by stocking himself to big events like “BAFTA Awards”. Always got caught and kicked out, he’s now desperate to talk about a celebrity to “piss him / her off”.

Life starts to smile for him when “Clayton Harding”, a CEO of a big magazine called “Sharps” calls him for a job in the magazine headquarters in New York after he reads a cover story about him in “Post Modern Review” that was supposed to “piss him off”. So, Young comes to New York, working in this magazine that he dreamed to have job in and fun starts from here.

The Complex

Three major complexes in the movie: Young’s struggle to show up in his new job and to achieve something without leaning on his father the famous writer / lord, his struggle with his higher department manager who steals his ideas and try to always make him look bad and his desire to be the famous actress’s boy friend “Sophie Maes” besides his bizarre relationship with his direct manager “Alison Olsen” - Kirsten Dunst.

All of these struggles has to pass a major hump: “Eleanor Johnson” played brilliantly by Gillian Anderson. Eleanor is the classic “bitch witch” that seems to run everything by pulling the major strings. She is a publicist for many major celebrities and everyone is totally willing to “kiss her ass” to be happy. This starts with Young when she offers him to profile one of her major clients, a totally ungifted young director “Vincent Lepak” who climbs high because of Eleanor’s power over the media.

Problems starts when young refuses to profile her client the way she wants and go free with it as he used to do and she decides to flush him down the toilet if he did not cooperate. At a later point he finds himself literally begging her for a chance under her own terms to profile her clients when he discovers that his dreams are being tore apart, and he is going absolutely nowhere.

The Ending

The ending starts at the first scene, Sydney Young on the top of the world wearing Armani tuxedo and an Omega Speedmaster Pro watch sitting next to the stunning “Sophie Maes” in the Apollo Awards, with a promise from Maes to have sex with him tonight if she won the Apollo Best Actress award.

This is the point where he takes us back one year when “life was not used to be like this”. We get back here again at the end of the movie with him on the top of the world, wondering: is this what wanted? Could life be better with much less than this, but with me doing what I was born to do? The movies ends with a bizarre happy ending that you should watch to know as I will not be telling you about.

The Making

Just fun, no fancy stuff, these words can exactly describe the movie. There is no fancy making; no high budget effects, no big wisdoms. It is a movie that you want to watch when you want to forget about the daily headaches you might have. The movie completely depends on the characters and the fun that comes out from them. Simon Pegg is basically the center of this movie and the one all humors in the movie revolves around.

Such type of movies you watch for the sake of fun, though they have no wisdoms nor big ideas, are sometimes necessary to take some of the heavy loads over your shoulders and makes you laugh because you want to laugh. So watch it when you want to laugh and do not expect a lot more than real fun and laugh with no fake wisdom.


Movie Info

Director: Robert B. Weide
Writers: Peter Straughan (screenplay), Toby Young (book)
Release Date: 3 October 2008 (USA)
Genre: Comedy | Romance
Rating:Rated R for language, some graphic nudity and brief drug material.
Runtime: 110 min
Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS
Filming Locations: Café de Paris, Coventry Street, Soho, London, England, UK
Company: Number 9 Films
More on IMDb

DVD Info

Actors: Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, Kelan Pannell, Janette Scott
Directors: Robert B. Weide
Writers: Peter Straughan, Toby Young
Producers: Allan Zeman, Carrie Fix, Courtney Solomon, Elizabeth Karlsen, Gary Smith
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: R (Restricted)
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009
Run Time: 110 minutes
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Last Updated on Saturday, 25 April 2009 13:48

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