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How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

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Robert B. Weide (2008) Starring: Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Bridges, Megan Fox, Gillian Anderson

What had been rumored as a “meh” comedy proved it had earned its reputation, although admittedly, I did like Kirsten Dunst quite a bit (and the reference to The Apartment was a nice touch).

Sidney Young (Pegg) is an obnoxious journalist for his humor magazine.  When it catches the eye of media tycoon Clayton Harding (Bridges), Young is offered a job in New York, writing for a major periodical.  There, he tries to ingratiate himself to the next It-Girl Sophie Maes (Fox) while forming a reluctant friendship with fellow writer Alison Olsen (Dunst).

I feel like Pegg was given a role that was a lot like Tim on Spaced, except not nearly as likable.  Admittedly, Sidney has his moments usually when he’s bonding with Alison.  Dunst’s performance surprised me with how good it was, possibly because I had forgotten she was a good actress to begin with.  During the later half, when their settled into their roles as friends, the characters are sympathetic, funny, and interesting, but the weird quips and odd situations from the first half make it a little tiresome to get to that point.  However, when the plot shifts to an adaptation of  The Apartment between Sidney, Alison, and their boss Maddox it becomes a decent plot.

In general, movies and TV shows about the ugly sides of the entertainment industry are really boring.  The first time around, they’re revealing, but they are such a bore to slog through.  The material taken from Toby Young’s memoir are really frustrating, from the obnoxious mannerisms to the fact that celebrities and the cynics that cater to them are boring.  Luckily, the romantic plot tied it together for a satisfying end.

 

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