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Masand's movie review: How To Lose Friends...

Feb 07, 2009 12:40 AM IST India India

Cast: Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson, Megan Fox

Direction: Robert B Weide

How To Lose Friends And Alienate People stars Simon Pegg as sarcastic British journo Simon Young, who longs to be a part of the glamorous world of fame and celebrity.

He gets his chance when hot-shot editor Clayton Harding (played by Jeff Bridges) offers him a job at prestigious New York fashion magazine Sharps, but it isn't long before Sidney's crass behaviour alienates everyone from Hollywood's most powerful publicist (played by Gillian Anderson) to empty-headed Paris Hilton-like starlet Sophie Maes (played by Megan Fox).

Fortunately, Sidney finds an ally in his colleague Alison Olsen (played by Kirsten Dunst), who helps him stay on the right side of his of his boss, and gives him some valuable pointers on how to survive in this crazy business.

Loosely adapted from Toby Young's book about his calamitous spell in the 90s, working for Vanity Fair magazine, the film has none of the self-lacerating pain of Young's book, but it's still quite watchable for its stray moments of wicked wit.

Like the scene in which Young tries to crash a post-BAFTAs party with a pig on a leash claiming he's accompanying the star of Babe. Or the one in which he inadvertently orders a stripper to the office on 'Bring Your Daughter To Work Day'.

Ultimately the film doesn't realise its full potential because it goes for laugh-out-loud, broad humour where it should have stuck to the book's cheeky tone. Also the obligatory romantic track between Young and his co-worker Alison seems just that – obligatory, and as a result it isn't entirely convincing.

How To Lose Friends And Alienate People doesn't have the charm of say The Devil Wears Prada, but it's an easy watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Watch it for a few laughs, you won't feel like you wasted your time. That's three out of five for How To Lose Friends And Alienate People. If you're the sort who prefers reading to films, then pick up the book, it's smarter and funnier.

Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)

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