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Review: "How To Lose Friends and Alienate People"

November 29, 2008


By Chad Larson

I will preface this review with two things: I think Simon Pegg is one of the funniest actors around right now, and I think every red-blooded non-terrorist American male will agree that Megan Fox is one of the hottest women to grace the screen these days. And that’s pretty much the two main reasons I wanted to see this in a nutshell.

Simon plays Sidney Young, a magazine writer in Britain who is recruited to work for a magazine in New York. He shows up for work on the first day in an offensive shirt, gets off on the wrong foot with his boss, and generally messes up in every way possible.

Prior to his first day, he has a bad encounter at the bar with Allison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst) in which he predictably makes an ass of himself. The next day at work, he finds that she is his co-worker. The two continue along their already rocky path.

Sidney is stuck in a low-level position at the magazine, unable to shake things up as he originally planned to do. He meets Sophie Maes (Megan Fox), an up and coming starlet who he is immediately smitten with after her admittedly legendary entrance at a party. His boss is perpetually in his way, and this does not stop with Sophie.

Sidney finds himself continually trying to get close to Sophie while his boss and Allison stop him. A budding friendship begins to develop between him and Allison, as she appears to be the only person who can tolerate his increasingly bizarre and brash behavior.

Gillian Anderson has a minor role in the film as an exec who is a real power broker in Hollywood. I just can’t help but picture her as Dana Scully, though!

The movie has a number of funny scenes, and unlike the vast majority of comedies out these days, not all of the funny parts were shown on the trailer. Sidney comes off as such a jerk, and such a fish out of water, but still you can’t help but root for him as he tries to find his place.

Megan Fox got so much attention after Transformers, but she really has to get some better parts before she’s going to be taken seriously. Despite being a major character and getting main billing in this film, she doesn’t have lines in a lot of her scenes, and just as in Transformers, she delivers the ones she does have in a way that makes you wonder if she’s trying to act badly to get in character, or if she’s just genuinely that bad. She sure is good eye candy though.

Dunst and Pegg have good on screen chemistry, and both get their fair share of jokes. Jeff “Lebowski” Bridges has a supporting role as the head man at the magazine, but is generally played off as the typical asshole boss with hardly any funny lines.

Overall, this was a pretty good comedy, and the overall storyline could even pass it off as a half decent date movie since there is a romantic subtext.

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