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How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)



Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 110
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 70

A decent performance from Pegg in a disappointing film. Neither sharp nor satirical, Weide's adaptation relies too heavily on slapstick, and misses the point of the source material in the process.


Average Rating: 4.3/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 24

A decent performance from Pegg in a disappointing film. Neither sharp nor satirical, Weide's adaptation relies too heavily on slapstick, and misses the point of the source material in the process.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 48,433

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Movie Info

Frequent Curb Your Enthusiasm director Robert B. Weide makes his feature directorial debut with this screen adaptation of British writer Toby Young's comedic novel of the same name. When self-promoting scribe Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) accepts a position as a contributing editor for iconic fashion magazine "Sharps," his subsequent attempts to ingratiate himself with both his egotistical boss, Clayton Harding, and the superficial celebrities who populate the pages of the magazine prove



Peter Straughan

Feb 17, 2009


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Latest News on How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

January 4, 2009:
MGM Loses Friends and Alienates People
Thinking about buying "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" on DVD? Simon Pegg and director...
October 6, 2008:
Bridges on Tron 2: "Too Good to Pass Up"
How will the "Tron" sequel be like Peter Jackson's "King Kong"? Read the Guardian's new interview...


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All Critics (116) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (70) | DVD (13)

Where the movie succeeds is in its sudden right turns, its willingness to kill a dog, always a bold choice, and its consistent emphasis of the comedy over the romance.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just because you are supposed to laugh doesn't mean you are going to laugh.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It plays like a made-for-CBS redo of The Devil Wears Prada.

October 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What was good enough for the printed page -- a comic chronicle of our obsession with the shallow -- has been turned into the object of its own derision.

October 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Instead of skewering self-important stars and vapid journalists, Friends gets muddled in slapstick and crude humor.

October 3, 2008 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It seems Weide and Pegg were determined to make good on their title How to Lose Friends& Alienate People. You can sum up their results in two words: mission accomplished.

October 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What we have is a comedy that's not that great, a romance that's not that convincing and a movie that's sadly not that special. Now that's how you lose friends and alienate people.

October 14, 2012 Full Review Source:

droseri, ana diastimata asteia, alla en genei filodoksi apopeira aythadeias me eynoyhismenes eilikrineis protheseis kai bretaniko flegma kommeno stis akres gia na horesei se amerikaniko kaloypi romenti, opoy niotheis synehos na leipoyn pragmata

March 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

The makings of an uncompromising, razor sharp satire were gathered together here. That the resulting movie slips off track as much as it does is particularly disappointing.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

A fun movie worth checking out.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source:

... slickly constructed and frequently funny.

November 12, 2008

I'm told that several of these characters are easily recognisable to insiders, but outside that small coterie there's still a great deal to enjoy about Sidney's fish-out-of-water exploits.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

I feel I've seen a bit too much of Pegg in some not very funny films recently, but his fish out of water works well.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

No bad thing, really, but a fair distance from the barbed humour of Young's book.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

While Pegg has a good stab at lending the film some of his trademark knockabout charm, the film is as artless and difficult to warm to as its leading man.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Weide bypasses the impulse to push the film at the usual breakneck comedy movie pace, allowing the conflicts to build slowly and with more thought than the film's premise might otherwise suggest.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Quite apart from the insights into the strange world of showbiz celebrities, the film is enjoyable for its often witty script and the thoroughly engaging characters...

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

British funny man Simon Pegg continues his downwards spiral with this lame, 'Devil Wears Prada-styled "comedy."

October 23, 2008 Full Review Source:

The film version of Young's book is more slapstick than skewer, more loving portrait than leveling blow.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Simon Pegg's brilliant central performance and some very funny gags are drained by a limp finale which leaves all manner of plot strands hanging and characters left out to dry as the film stalls and sputters its way home.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

[A] noxious comedy.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Pegg tries to fill the void with antic slapstick.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

The tone is never quite mean enough or never quite nice enough and the film never catches its stride.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

This male version of The Devil Wears Prada comes off second best in the comparison, but is nevertheless an entertaining jest about a young Brit who is not only a fish out of water but totally out of the fishtank

October 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Trying to clear off my DVR, I saw that I had this one there and realized it's one of those movies I've always wanted to watch, but just didn't. So, I finally gave it a shot, and man I wish I would have watched this a few years ago. I love Simon Pegg movies, he is the best geeky/comedy actor out there and I can't think of a real bad movie that he has done. Here he plays Sidney Young, an independent journalist who starts to work for "Sharps", the number one fashion/pop culture magazine. From there he messes everything up, pisses everyone off, and finds out the life he wanted all along, may not be all it's cracked up to be. This has a great supporting cast with Jeff Bridges, Danny Huston, Kirstin Dunst, Megan Fox, and Gillian Anderson. Just wish Nick Frost had popped up somewhere. If your into the "Office" or other Ricky Gervais humor then this is right up your alley. Lot of goofball, uncomfortable situations help make a pretty plain story very funny. Good comedy that flew under the radar that deserves to discovered or rediscovered all over again.
January 26, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

It´s not so bad as I imagined. Let says it works. It has a mix of British and American humour (American "humour") , shows very well Hollywood´s little world and makes lot of references to the great Fellini´s "La Dolce Vita", the best film about the "celebrity journalism" from where, by the way, the word paparazzi comes.

*Sophie Maes crossing the swimming pool with La Dolce Vita´s theme song palying in the background is a direct reference to the scene of Sylvia in the Fontana di Trevi. In my opinion, it is better than the original scene.

July 4, 2012

Super Reviewer

Kirsten Dunst is the only bright spot in this mess (and even she is not at her best). . Now I know why it took me years to get around to watching it.
Stupid storyline and bad acting. And Megan Fox. Ack!
June 25, 2012

Super Reviewer

A male vision of The Devil Wears Prada; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People could be not so good made as Frankel's picture, doesn't have a better writing as the same and be very slapstick. But this one had, not just a nice performance by Simon Pegg, it's much more entertaining that The Devil Wears..., and have some funny scenes (unfortunately not some funny as look to be). Anyway Toby Young's adaptation is a nice movie to see. Fresh.
June 9, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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