With a title like How to Lose Friends and Alienate People how could one not find the exquisite irony of boring the audience with a cliched love story and a melodrama that takes its comedy seriously, there by losing the audience’s interest, as a hilariously manufactured joke on the viewer? Simple, by being so bored that they would either fast forward through half of it or simply turn it off.
Starring Simon Pegg as Sidney Young, as the head of a struggling independent newspaper in England who desperately wants to be in the ‘in crowd’, disguising his way into celebrity events only to get thrown out of them. However, its precisely this practice that lands him a job at Sharps Magazine in New York, which is awarded to him by none other than man he reviles the most, Clayton Harding, as played with a bit of Dude by Jeff Bridges. The night he arrives he meets a young woman named Alison Olsen, as played by Kristen Dunst, who he manages to piss off with in the first five minutes of meeting.
Thrown into the mix we have two distinct generations of ‘not-hot’ actresses, the first being the always trailer trash Megan Fox as Sidney’s lust interest (the idea of which actually makes a little bit of vomit boil-up in my throat), and her publicist played by the otherwise excellent and slightly bitchy (to delightful effect) Gillian Anderson of X-Files (:I Want to Believe, which was a great X-File, go rent/buy it NOW!) fame. Both exude the image of a woman who should be attractive but neither ever quite manage to pull it off upon closer inspection (again, if fan boys can look past this, then this film has two smokin hot babes in it, and sorry Kristen you’re still thirteen).
The antics of Simon trying to, ahem, have romantic exchanges with Megan while managing to be just annoying enough to make the audience lose interest and never really laugh propels the film, not the story, towards its entirely unclimatic ending of Simon and Kristen ending up together. God, someone pay these people ( viewers, not actors) for all their time and hard work.
The film comes with two commentaries and a making of. Perhaps the greatest irony of all this is on the commentary director Robert Wiede (yes of Curb your Enthusiasm fame, was apparently held at gun point to make this yawn feast), actually admits the only reason he wanted to do the movie with Simon was so he could do a commentary with him. Nothing could be more true for this film.