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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 59,414 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 96 user | 134 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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



(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 ...
Ian Bonar ...


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?


In the beginning of the film, Simon Pegg is trying to catch Thandie Newton's attention. Thandie Newton was the love of Pegg's life in the movie Run, Fatboy, Run (2007). See more »


During a scene in which Sidney and Alison are walking along a street in New York together, in one of the shots a shadow of the camera equipment and operator is clearly visible. See more »


Sidney Young: What's the greatest film ever made?
Alison Olsen: It's hard to say. I mean, I personally love La Dolce Vita...
Sidney Young: [Imitates game show buzzer] Incorrect!
Sidney Young: [Continues, dead pan] Con Air.
Alison Olsen: [a bit perplexed] I beg your pardon?
Sidney Young: Con Air, right? It's got everything, hasn't it? You know, you've got Malkovich for your acting chops, you got Nicky Cage for your action, Steve Buscemi for your comedy, John Cusack for the gays. Right? It's like a smorgasbord, isn't it?
See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) 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

Pegg brings his great comedy to Sharpe story
30 April 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sidney Young (Pegg) moves from England to New York to work for the popular magazine Sharpe's in a hope to live his dream lifestyle but struggles to make a lasting impression.

Based on Toby Young's book about survival in American business, this comedy drama received mixed views from critiques. Labelled as inconsistently funny but with charm by the actors, how to lose friends seemed as a run of the mill fish out of the pond make fun at another culture comedy, but it isn't.

This 2008 picture works on account of its actors and the simple yet sharp story. We start off in the past, then in the present and are working our way forwards to see how Young made his mark at one of America's top magazines.

Pegg (Hot Fuzz) is too likable for words. Whether it's hitting zombies with a cricket bat or showing his sidekick the nature of the law the English actor brings a charm and light heartedness to every scene. Here, when the scripting is good but far from his own standards, he brings a great deal of energy to the picture and he alone is worth watching for. His antics with "Babe 3" are unforgivable, simply breathtaking stuff as is his over exuberant dancing, but he pulls it off splendidly.

Bridges and Anderson do well at portraying the stereotypical magazine bosses where Dunst fits in nicely to the confused love interest. Megan Fox, who stole Transformers, reminds everyone she can act here with a funny hyperbole of a stereotype film star. The fact that her character Sophie Myles is starring in a picture about Mother Teresa is as laughable as her character's antics in the pool. To emphasize the point there is a dog, and Pegg rounds that off in true Brit style comedy, with a great little twist.

Though a British film there is an adaptation of American lifestyle for Young as he tries to fit in and we can see the different approaches to story telling. Young wants the down right dirty contrasted with the American professionalism. The inclusion of modern day tabloid stars will soon make this film dated but the concept of exploitation of film star's gives this edge.

Weide's first picture is not perfect. There are lapses in concentration as the plot becomes too soapy with an awkward obvious twist and there are too many characters to be necessary. The physical comedy can also be overdone. As a side note, the bloopers on the DVD are some of the finest you will ever see, which are almost half an hour long.

This comedy drama has Simon Pegg on shining form again and with the collective approach to story telling and sharp comedy, it is worth watching.

20 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why'd it bomb in the US? glass_houses
Kirsten Dust is aweful in this alakandog
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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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