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Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS & ALIENATE PEOPLE


It's funny, and a bit unexpected, but Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst worked really well together in this.

That's the reason the movie is good.

It's a simple story. Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) is a shlub from England who has always dreamed of hanging out with famous people. He's the son of an actress, and he has grown up watching these glamorous people on TV, and wanting to live 'the high life', just like them.

Also, he's kind of an idiot, and creates more awkward situations than Mike Birbiglia.



Soon, Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), the executive for the very prestigious magazine "Sharp's", calls Sidney and wants him to come work in New York City for the magazine. Eager to get away from his pathetic excuse for a job, he flies straight to New York. He starts the magazine in, as Clayton puts it, "The First Room"; where the nobodies are. As he explains, if Sidney is lucky enough, he may make it all the way to The Seventh Room, where Clayton sits in his fancy office and smokes cigarettes, and throws presents he doesn't like out the window.

And as the title suggests, along the way, he loses friends and alienates people. One of the only people who seem to stick by him is Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst), a young editor for the paper. She is charming, pretty, and taken. That's ok though, because Sidney is focusing his real attention on the hot, new, rising actress Sophie Maes (Megan Fox).

You can pretty much sense what unfolds from there. As I said, the reason this movie works so well is because of how relateable it is, on so many levels. The performances from Pegg and Dunst are so natural that you are really drawn into their lives, and you forget you are watching a movie (which seems to be pretty rare these days). After all, who doesn't want to hang out with famous people?

But it is not Pegg or Dunst that stand in this movie the most. No, it's Megan Fox.

And not just because she is seen exclusively in her underwear and low-cut dresses.

It's important to note that I hated Transformers, and I hated her, because she had no life, no charisma, and seemingly, no joy in playing the character. In this movie, she made me laugh the most. She plays the very Paris Hilton-esque, superficial, small dog loving, rising, dumb young star. Fox truly has fun with it, which is what separates this performance from Transformers. But it's not only that she is playing a spoof of who we all love to hate, it's that she's really playing the character. Even though she is dumber than pond scum, she has thoughts and feelings behind her eyes. Even Nicole Richie has thoughts (allegedly). And, ironically, like a Transformer, there is more to Megan Fox than meets the eye.

On the downside, there is one moment in particular that is so stupid, it amazes me. You'll know it when you see it - and I do recommend you see it. It will put a smile on your face.

And isn't that what we need these days?

4 stars

7 comments:

Theotherbrother said...

I don't understand your out of 10 rating system.

Wilder Shaw said...

Uh... I'm not Ebert. I don't rate things out of 4.

theotherbrother said...

Yo man, I mean I'm not getting how your 7.5 out of 10 works. You say some films are bad and give them 7 and you say some films are good and give them 7.5. I just want a break down of what each number means to you. Unless you be rating 7-10 an 1-6 don't mean nothing.

Ezra Edmond said...

I think this movie looks good. I don't really care too much for Megan Fox either, but perhaps this will sway me. And then Transformers II will sway me right back to where I am right now.... making me indignant I suppose.

Ezra Edmond said...

Also, I agree with 'theotherbrother' how exactly does your rating system work?

Mark Donica said...

SPLAIN SIR WILDER

Wilder Shaw said...

Ok, I'll do a post explaining my ratings.

Also, I didn't say Nick and Norah was bad. I just said it was not as good as I hoped.

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