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How To Lose Friends And Alienate People [DVD] [2008]

3.8 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Robert B. Weide
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Mar. 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001H9O4W8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,810 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

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 & Ali enate People".

From Amazon.co.uk

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People may just be the first true British film--and a splendid one at that--to be set on American soil. The fearless actor Simon Pegg plays Sidney Young, a Fleet Street hatchet writer tapped to come to the States to join the literati, and glitterati, at a big, fat, glossy magazine--every resemblance of which to Vanity Fair is strictly intentional. Sidney is possibly the most annoying man in the Western world, tilting at nonexistent windmills. His character calls to mind many of the hapless charmers played by Hugh Grant--but Pegg, without Grant's raffish good looks, comes across as simply hapless. Which is perfect casting, since Sidney is supposed to be enormously aggravating, especially when he first lands in New York. In his first few days in the city, Sidney puts off the first magazine colleague he met (Kirsten Dunst, in a top-flight comic turn), wears a wildly inappropriate T-shirt on his first day of work, spritzes fast food onto the designer white suit of a relative of the publisher, and picks up a tranny hooker. And things go downhill from there. On his first magazine assignment, Sidney, checking captions for a photo page, calls a powerful publicist. "Is he the fat one?" Sidney asks the publicist about one of her clients. Silence. "Well, is he the one with the wonky eye, then?" Pegg is a scream as Sidney, playing quite a different role than his starring one in Shaun of the Dead. Dunst is delicate but steely, and her comedic timing, under the deft direction of Robert B. Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm), is spot on. Great supporting work, too, by editor Jeff Bridges, whose enthrallment to the power elite, and silver mane, channel Graydon Carter; by Gillian Anderson, as a take-no-prisoners publicist; and by Megan Fox, a starlet cast as a bosom-heaving Mother Teresa. Sidney, and the film, will win you over, with a lot of laughter along the way.--A.T. Hurley

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very funny, disc was used, i thought it was brand new. Quality was perfect
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Simon Pegg stars as Sidney Young, a hack writer with a British celebrity magazine whose only desire is to be with the people he trashes in his columns. Clayton (Jeff Bridges) is the successful editor of New York celebrity magazine. He offers Sidney a job which he accepts. Sidney quickly discovers he is way out of his league and if he doesn't shape up he will lose his job. Kirsten Dunst plays Simon's boss who sees him as a zero and would like to see him fail. Meagan Fox plays an actress that Simon would like to get close to at any cost.

Simon can do no right, sort of an obnoxious Mr. Bean. However as the story progresses we discover that Simon isn't as shallow as our first impression. His turn around and redemption is what turns this film from a romp to a heart warming tale.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, no sex, nudity (Margo Stilley)
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Format: DVD
great movie
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I've been a huge fan of Simon Pegg sinced his 'Spaced' days so I'm always interested when he's starring in a new film. Considering the hype when this film was released calling it 'the funniest thing ever etc' this claim just doesn't hold water. It's entertaining enough - based around Toby Young's book of the same name documenting his time spent as an Englishman working at the US edition of Vanity Fair and the cast are pretty impressive but I can't help wondering why I wasn't laughing? Maybe Pegg came across as too 'Simon Peggish' and didn't really inhabit the Sidney Young character as he should have done, maybe a re-cast of the main character would have helped?

Otherwise it's a fairly simple plot, somebody goes to work somewhere new, starts badly, improves a bit, rises in the organisation, tries to get an unattainable girl whilst ignoring 'the one' working alongside you. That was it really, there isn't much else to say, but I can't help feeling a bit cheated by this film and hope that it doesn't mean that Simon's quirky Englishness will be swallowed up by Hollywood.
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If The Devil Wears Prada had been made in Britain, then it would have been lower budget, grumpier, and much more realistic, in its own slapstick kind of way. And this is exactly what How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is. Instead of Anne Hathaway's relentlessly cheery and accommodating character, we have Simon Pegg, MA in philosophy, son of a movie star and a famous philosopher, hack journalist, sticking two fingers up to anything he can possibly find to stick them to. Instead of Meryl Streep's domineering tyrant, we have Jeff Bridges as an older Pegg, but, as he puts it 'seven rooms further on'. And, instead of a saccharine 'have boyfriend - lose boyfriend - return to boyfriend' relationship, we have the admirable Kirsten Dunst, a much more realistic, fully-formed, and, let's face it, attractive proposition.

In pretty much every way, Simon Pegg's character is another version of his Spaced persona, this time angrier and more selfish than the Shaun Of The Dead version, but a different mix of the same combination of occasional cool, frequent idiocy, flashes of self-knowledge, and underlying self-distrust. I'm not sure how many more ways there are going to be to explore that particular personality, but, by comparison, all of the other characters are dull and risk-averse, except for the character's father, whose brief appearance reshapes the film.

So, how much fun is this? A lot, but perhaps not quite as much fun as it thinks it is.
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Format: DVD
However, this dvd titled How To Lose Friends & Alienate People touches on the delicate issue of how far can a person reasonably go when aiming for greatness and making a memorable contribution in one’s career. Simon Pegg plays a British journalist who goes to great lengths to make a name for himself in the career arena. The front of the dvd also lists Kirsten Dunst, Danny Huston, Gillian Anderson, Megan Fox, and Jeff Bridges as actors/actresses who star in this film. The following are some of the bonuses associated with this dvd: Audio Commentary With Director Robert Weide and Star Simon Pegg, Audio Commentary With Director Robert Weide, and Sharp Interviews-Making of Featurette. Internet Movie Database lists the movie being inspired by Toby Young’s memoir “How To Lose Friends and Alienate People” and I read somewhere online that this movie was also inspired by a real-life publicist (Gillian Anderson’s character portrayal).
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Amazon's review namechecks Hugh Grant but there really is no comparison because Simon Pegg's character is mercifully shorn of Grant's foppish traits and bumbling apologies. Sidney Young, mistakenly headhunted as a gadfly amongst New York's glitterati and their sycophants, is far too robust a character to be emasculated by any of those soppy scenes Grant used to be forced to do. This is the old fish-out-of-water tale and I really enjoyed the uninhibited English normality, the initial refusal to conform, that Young thrusts into the rather starchy world of the glossy NY magazine. At one time, it would have been a glamorous American shaking things up in the buttoned-up world of the British. Here, the reverse.

Pegg is excellent in the role, really making Young's potentially insufferable twit, well, sufferable. Kirtsen Dunst is charming as the only employee who can tolerate the disaster prone newcomer, and Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson and the other cast members all make strong contributions.

I know, it looks dicey, but it's genuinely funny and if you've seen Pegg's earlier work - e.g. Spaced; you have seen Spaced, right? If not, what's wrong with you? - you'll know how entertaining he can be. He throws himself into the part with gusto and if a film like Devil Wears Prada won more acclaim, remember that its fish out of water was acted off the screen by her co-stars.

02/2011 update: just watched it again and I'm moving it up to 5-stars. It's great. Very very funny and charming. Not every great film has to be a hit at the box office.
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