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How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)

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


Robert B. Weide


Peter Straughan (screenplay), Toby Young (book)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelan Pannell Kelan Pannell ... Young Sidney
Janette Scott ... Sidney's Mother (archive footage)
Danny Huston ... Lawrence Maddox
Simon Pegg ... Sidney Young
Megan Fox ... Sophie Maes
Gillian Anderson ... Eleanor Johnson
Kelly Jo Charge Kelly Jo Charge ... Apollo Awards Presenter
Christian Maier Smith Christian Maier Smith ... Apollo Awards Guest
Katherine Parkinson ... PR Woman
Felicity Montagu Felicity Montagu ... Clipboard Nazi
Thandie Newton ... Thandie Newton
John Lightbody ... Assistant Hotel Manager
Ian Bonar Ian Bonar ... Post Modern Review Staff
James Corden ... Post Modern Review Staff
Fenella Woolgar ... Post Modern Review Staff


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


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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kako izgubiti prijatelje i otuđiti se od ljudi See more »


Box Office


$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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Sidney first meets Sophie Maes, the man standing directly next to her on the right side of the screen is Brian Austin Green, who was at the time of filming, Megan Fox's fiancé. See more »


When we first meet Sophie Maes (Megan Fox), she says she is a vegetarian and would never wear fur, yet we see her at the party towards the end of the movie wearing what looks like a real fur shawl. However, this is most likely a testament to how movie stars sell out their beliefs when they become famous. See more »


Sidney Young: I sent the fish, you know, goldfish in a bowl. Did she get them?
Sophie Maes' Assistant: Yes, but they were dead!
Sidney Young: All of them?
Sophie Maes' Assistant: Yeah, it was kind of shocking actually! Were they dead when you send them?
Sidney Young: No no, who sends people dead fish?
Sophie Maes' Assistant: The Mafia?
See more »


References The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »


La Dolce Vita (Finale)
from the original soundtrack of the film La dolce vita (1960)
Written by Nino Rota and Dino Verde
Published by Edizioni Musicali Giuseppe Camp/EMI Music Publishing Ltd
(c) 1960 C.A.M. S.r.l.
(p) 1960 C.A.M. S.r.l.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Really not as funny as I was expecting
11 October 2008 | by Smells_Like_CheeseSee all my reviews

I am such a huge fan of Simon Pegg, I really love this guy, he is such a great comedic actor and has so much potential, but what is with How to Lose Friends & Alienate People? How did he get this mediocre script? Now granted, I'm going to give this movie a little credit, it's better than most romantic comedies, but I'm just so sadly disappointed with this movie. I was so excited to see it because from the trailer it looked incredibly funny, but you know those movies where all the funny parts are shown in the trailer, then you see the movie and the rest of the film just doesn't get you like the trailer did? That's How to Lose Friends & Alienate People in a nutshell. Simon Pegg is funny, but for some reason he seems more forced than usual in this movie and his chemistry with Kirsten Dunst is off. While there are some funny moments, this is not the laugh out loud comedy I was expecting.

Sydney Young has always dreamed of rubbing elbows with the big time celebrities, he has a job as a celebrity journalist, but he's not exactly well known, so he's constantly thrown out of the parties and award shows. He is offered a job at Sharp's Magazine in New York City, but he's not having the easiest time being accepted by his peers. They think he's a creep, a loser, a low life, etc. But with the help of sarcastic journalist, Alison Olsen, Sydney is soon rubbing his elbows with the rich and famous hoping to date the gorgeous new hot actress, Sophie Maes.

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People didn't do well here in the U.S. and I think because it didn't receive the proper publicity. Simon Pegg needs to make one movie that is really going to stand out here in the U.S. that will give him the proper push into a great leading man around the world. Kirsten doesn't look like she really enjoyed making this film and I think that's what threw her and Simon off, she seemed as forced as Simon, so this film didn't really work. There are a couple laughs here and there, but nothing to really get excited about, so I'm just going to say if you want to still see this movie, I'd recommend just doing a rental, it's a basic romantic comedy, just nothing too special.


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