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How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  3 October 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 58,952 users   Metascore: 35/100
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A British writer struggles to fit in at a high-profile magazine in New York. Based on Toby Young's memoir "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People".



(screenplay), (book)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelan Pannell ...
Janette Scott ...
Kelly Jo Charge ...
Apollo Awards Presenter
Christian Smith ...
Apollo Awards Guest
Felicity Montagu ...


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

Plot Keywords:

celebrity | starlet | pig | party | writer | See All (43) »


He's across the pond, and out of his depth See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kako izgubiti prijatelje i otuđiti se od ljudi  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,154,607 (UK) (3 October 2008)


$2,775,593 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The book that the staffer was reading (Chris O'Dowd) in the scene where Clayton Harding calls is in fact the the novel "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People", the book on which the film was based. See more »


At the party, Sophie Maes (Megan Fox) gathers her hair in her right hand, holds it above her shoulders and lowers herself into the pool. She walks across the pool in water that is just deep enough to wet her bust and as she climbs out of the pool we can see a distinct "tide mark" on her halter-necked dress, above which her shoulders and neck are dry. In the next scene, Sophie emerges from a lift/elevator with wet shoulders and neck. See more »


Richard Young: Einstein said, Try not to become a man of success rather to become a man of value!
See more »


Features Meerkat Manor (2005) See more »


Hot Stuff
Written by Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Pete Bellotte
Performed by Donna Summer
Courtesy of Island Def Jam Music Group/Mercury Records (London) Ltd
Under licence from Universal Music Operations
(c) Warner/Chappell Music Limited
By Kind Permission of Warner/Chappell Music Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Should have been better but is still a reasonable enough comedy
18 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sidney Young runs a small alternative culture magazine in London dedicated to popping the bubble of celebrity. He hits the big time when he gets a call from Clayton Harding, the editor of Sharps magazine – a glossy celebrity magazine based in New York City. Sidney goes into the job thinking he can be different from the puff pieces the magazine is famous for and somehow has been employed as part of Harding's darker streak and longer for more. Sadly this instinct is dead wrong and Sidney finds himself a joke within the office and a failure within the world of celebrity and movie stars that he needs to work.

HTLF&AP (it's easier) is in the mould of The Devil Wears Prada as it is written as an insider's exposé of celebrity culture from someone who discovered it firsthand. Like that film, this one also struggles to tell this tale within a narrative structure that engages. It is helped though by having the central character be a major part of his own discovery, ie not only do we see the world of superficiality that is the celebrity scene but Sidney is more than a pair of eyes as he fails so impressively to assimilate himself into it. The problem is though that it is not savage enough on the celebrity culture and instead tries to draw a lot more humour from Sidney's various pratfalls and failures. This produces some moments of amusement but at the same time it robs the material of the teeth it really should have had. What is left is a reasonably funny comedy that goes where you expect it to, right down to the pat ending that was always going to be there.

Pegg has enough about his performance to be funny even though this is far below the films he has made with Wright. He makes it work better than it should at times but then he cannot bring out an edge that isn't there in the script. The starry supporting cast may be part of the reason that it doesn't tear at the hand that feeds it and indeed there are some solid turns here. Bridges, Anderson, Fox, Huston and others all do reasonably good work around Pegg. Dunst is at her best when in the "hate" part of her "love/hate" relationship with Pegg and I liked her until the film gradually started to use her character to turn the way we all knew it would go.

Not a brilliant film by any means then but still one that is amusing as it treads familiar paths to a weak ending. Should have been better but is still just about good enough to distract as a comedy.

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Why'd it bomb in the US? glass_houses
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things i would would rather see than this movie again... meltonr
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What would you do in his postion??? nightmarerule_007

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