6.4/10
63,616
100 user 135 critic

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)

Featurette
2:17 | Featurette

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelan Pannell ...
Young Sidney
...
Sidney's Mother (archive footage)
...
...
...
...
Kelly Jo Charge ...
Apollo Awards Presenter
Christian Maier Smith ...
Apollo Awards Guest
...
PR Woman
Felicity Montagu ...
Clipboard Nazi
...
Thandie Newton
...
Assistant Hotel Manager
Ian Bonar ...
Post Modern Review Staff
...
Post Modern Review Staff
...
Post Modern Review Staff
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kako izgubiti prijatelje i otuđiti se od ljudi  »

Edit

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The relationship between Sidney and Alison is not in Toby Young's book, it is instead based on The Apartment (1960). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Kowalski: [Upon learning that Sidney writes about Hollywood stars for a magazine] Hollywood? Sodom and Gomorrah. Now everybody a celebrity. You take out your breasts, you're celebrity.
Sidney Young: I think it probably depends on the breasts...
Mrs. Kowalski: In Poland, someone was famous because they done something. Marie Curie, Pope John Paul...
Sidney Young: Yeah, well, they don't make entertainers like that anymore, do they?
Mrs. Kowalski: [sourly] Wise guy.
See more »

Connections

References The Day of the Jackal (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

I Get Around (Van She Dub)
Written by Dan Kurtz (uncredited) and Martina Sorbara (uncredited)
Performed by Dragonette
Courtesy of Mercury Records (London) Ltd
Under license from Universal Music Operations
Publishing Copyright Control
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Should have been better but is still a reasonable enough comedy
18 November 2008 | by 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.


32 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 100 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017