How To Lose Friends & Alienate People Robert Weide

How To Lose Friends & Alienate People Robert Weide
Part raunchy comedy, part romance, part satire and part drama, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People tries to be many things but never settles fully on a tone, entering into Devil Wears Prada territory, where the bites are more like nibbles despite the occasional fully nude chick with a penis. Based loosely on ex-Vanity Fair scribe Toby Young's titular book, the film tells the tale of Sydney Young (Simon Pegg), who's hired by shit-disturber-turned-WASP Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges) at the elitist Sharpe Magazine to write lame celebrity profiles for the gossip section. While Sydney is determined to rip into an insincere culture of personal favours, sycophants and raging insincerity, his assimilated colleagues are unimpressed, aside from aspiring novelist Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst), who secretly agrees with her shunned co-worker. The inevitable romance that stems from this pairing is pretty routine and generically spiced up by a flaky actress (Megan Fox) and her ball-breaking publicist (Gillian Anderson). The film is generally accurate in its portrayal of the industry but doesn't cut deep enough, keeping a light-hearted, cartoon-ish dynamic about the events and situations that is occasionally quite funny but not entirely successful. On the other hand, the problem in selling celebutante satires to the general public is that the movies are one of the few places that people have left to turn to for sincere (if manufactured) emotions and humanity, so pointing out that it's all run by a bunch of wankers does little to instil comfort in the viewer. Therein lays the dilemma. There is, however, a film-within-the-film where Megan Fox plays Mother Teresa, which is absolutely hilarious, for obvious reasons. Included with the DVD release is a commentary track with director Robert Weide, which is mostly informational, in addition to a track with both Weide and Simon Pegg where they crack jokes about accidentally knocking out Gillian Anderson and Megan Fox's hesitation to do an underwear scene. Also included is a "making of" featurette. (MGM)