How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)

Genre(s): Comedy
MGM || R - 110 minutes - $27.98 || February 17, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-02-15

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Robert B. Weide
Writer(s): Toby Young (book); Peter Straughan (screenplay)
Cast: Simon Pegg, Megan Fox, Gillian Anderson, Jeff Bridges, Kirsten Dunst

Theatrical Release Date: October 3, 2008

Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Feature Commentaries
  • Featurette

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital Surround 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital Surround 5.1), French (Dolby Digital Surround 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Thereís normally a formulate I have for writing these reviews, for those who care. For those who donít, just skip this paragraph. It involves about ten drafts of me writing and rewriting this paragraph until it sounds funny or at least a little chuckle. But Iíve been busy and nothing has really happened, besides getting woken up at 3 p.m. every day because someone just has to instant message me or call me. I wish I could invent a phone mode called ďTylerís sleeping. If you call expect the wrath of him when he wakes up.Ē But then Iíd have to explain why Iím talking in third person, which would create more problems. Now onto How To Lose Friends & Alienate People, starring Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst.

Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) is a journalist, well, heís one of those paparazzi people who harass stars and crash parties to put it more precisely, and heís currently trying to get into a party. Much to his effort, he is too well known even under his alias that the Clipboard Nazi (Felicity Montagu) refuses to let him in. By the way, Young tries to get in with some lame story about bringing in a pet pig to someone inside the hotel where the party is located.

He does manage to get in after a few trial and error moves, and sneaks into a room and leaves the pig there for later. While the party is going on he manages to flirt with one of the guests (Thandie Newton) but is cut short by the Clipboard Nazi and bolts out but not before the pig destroys the place and takes a nice little bathroom break on the floor. He is photographed though diving in the air, which gives him more press coverage for the magazine he writes for.

The next day he receives a call from Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), who works at a competing magazine, and he offers Young a job at his office. Young glazes around at his workers fighting with each other over a stupid fax machine and heads off to join the ranks of highly established writers. Well, sort of, but once heís there he decides to head to the bar to chat up the ladies.

In a truly hilarious scene, he clears the dance floor in a matter of thirty seconds by dancing so stupidly itís impossible to describe. After heís done thinking heís a gift to women, he decides to get a drink and sits down to an attractive girl (you find out more about her later on) but gets dissed completely when he shows her his library card instead of his business card. His ruse is blown by Alison (Kirsten Dunst) because he sat in her boyfriendís seat. Thatís also important later on, but not for the sake of the review. Just keep it in mind, k?

Young goes to work the next day at his new office only to find out that he isnít all that heís cracked up to be. He doesnít get a flashy job right off the bat, and his assignments are boring and not what he expected to be. That all changes though when he meets a publicist named Eleanor Johnson (Gillian Anderson) and her client Sophie Maes (Megan Fox), whom he falls for. He tries to get her attention but ends up just being plain creepy about it by sending her goldfish. The problem is they arrive dead and Sophie thinks she now has a mob hit after her.

So Young eventually gets a story from his boss only to find out that after itís done it doesnít get printed. Also in all the meetings he attends that involve the staff his views are never respected nor does anyone care what he has to say. Can Young gain the respect of his staff and somehow win over Maes? Will any sort of trickery be involved with hiring a transsexual? Will we find out the identity of Alisonís boyfriend?

All in all, this is a funny movie. But the problem is that I expected more from him and the rest of the cast, the jokes are hilarious at points but then there are periods of minutes where nothing really happens. Also some of the script is ratherÖ boring. The movie drags on for a while during the middle half, and as such, isnít really for everyone. This isnít like Peggís other films, and just canít compare to his past flicks.


Feature Commentary with Director Robert Weide & Simon Pegg: The highlight of the special features (all three of them) is a ravish commentary between actor and director. Pegg is insightful and funny at the same time, while Weide gives background into the film and the production of it. This is a phenomenal commentary, as pace keeps for most of the flick with only a few dry spots in between talking.

Feature Commentary with Director Robert Weide: Iím not sure why they chose to do two different commentaries, but this one gives even more background into the film. This one however isnít as enjoying as the top mentioned one though, so I recommend the first one rather than this one.

An ironic thing to note, the commentaries both talk about deleted scenes that didnít make the cut into the film. Sadly we donít get those, which made me wonder if a double-dip is in store for the future.

Making Of (19 minutes): Normally I enjoy these features, but this one dragged on for too long and didnít provide anything that wasnít obvious after watching the movie the first time. If you enjoyed the film, then watch this, if not, skip it.


For the most part, this is an absolutely gorgeous transfer. Color levels are perfect for the entire film, and they are exactly how they should look. However, black levels are a bit heavy in some parts of the film which make it hard to judge accurately the color scheme. They are especially heavy in the beginning of the film, but as it progresses they appear a bit lighter and how they should have been in the first place. This is a great transfer though, despite the black level issue.

The audio side is a complete disappointment, as levels are somewhat off for parts of the film. Dialogue is also low and at times hard to hear. The movie has a few action scenes in it that donít have a lot of depth or background to them, which is a shame. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track works okay; itís just nothing great as though it sounds more like a 2.0 track as surround is barely used.


This isnít Peggís best work, but itís still a decent film. There are laughs to be had, but I just canít help but feel let down after his past films with pal Nick Frost such as Hot Fuzz or the cult classic Shaun of the Dead. The special features are also empty, consisting of really only one commentary and a rather mundane ďmaking ofĒ feature. I canít rate the video yet, but the audio is rather low-key and disappointing at times. This is best served as a rental. Pegg, youíre a great actor, but go back to the spoof genre movies.