Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In this hilariously funny fish-out-of-water tale, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People tracks the outrageous escapades of Sidney Young, a smalltime, bumbling, British celebrity journalist who is hired by an upscale magazine in New York City. In spectacular fashion Sidney enters high society and burns bridges with bosses, peers and superstars. The film is based on Toby Young's memoir of the same name. (MGM) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 25
  2. Negative: 10 out of 25
  1. 88
    Possibly the best movie that could be made about Toby Young that isn't rated NC-17.
  2. 63
    Feels jumbled and disorganized. It's not altogether unpalatable, but that doesn't present it from being a mess.
  3. Best in show is the divine Gillian Anderson as a powerful celebrity publicist, editing the image of her clients in much the same way this adaptation tames Young's much pricklier book.
  4. When Pegg is breaking protocols with his uniquely ballsy aplomb, dancing like a doofus or doing battle with Venetian blinds, the film almost flies.
  5. An embarassingly unfunny, stumblebum adaptation of Toby Young's memoir.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Cleverly titled but noxious British comedy.
  7. The crushingly unfunny and slopped-together How to Lose Friends & Alienate People has neither the ambition nor the intelligence to do justice to its source material.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 4 out of 14
  1. johndoe
    Dec 29, 2008
    Personally I loved this film and and some of these critics that rated this movie are not going to give it above 90 unless it's the best movie that ever happened to mankind and even then the new york times and time magazine would only give it a 50. I loved this movie and I would reccomend everyone to buy it or at least rent it. Expand
  2. RobertJ.
    Nov 1, 2008
    I loved this film! I was expecting bad things after reading teh Metacritic ratings but we had already booked our Goldclass tickets so had to go, Went in expecting to be able to go to sleep but no what an enjoyable film. It was funny, yes some slapstick but overall Simon Pegg was very convincing. I haven't read the book but will get it now. I wonder if all the negative reviews were from US journalists who it hit a raw nerve with. It's basically about insincerity and does not put US journalists in a particularly good light. A telling scene at a party when Pegg's charachter says that in the UK they keep people out of these parties whereas in the US the celebs gush all over the journalists almost begging them to write a story on them. In the end he saw the light and got out. I would say go and see it and don't let these creepy journalists watching a film which exposes them for the hypocrites we despise and no them to be. Expand
  3. DannyG.
    Oct 26, 2008
    Certainly not a great movie but it is perfectly amiable, with a few sharp digs at the excesses of the New York bourgeoisie (which might explain the overwhelmingly bad reviews in the USA). The cast is excellent. I wish the script had been tighter, the direction less perfunctory but it doesn't deserve the critical panning it has received. I guess it is true. North Americans don't get irony. Expand
  4. Mar 19, 2012
    I expected too much from this movie. There was a few one-off gags but overall I was disappointed.
  5. Mar 26, 2012
    For the most part, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People is a decent enough British comedy film. Based on journalist Toby Young's memoirs, we follow Sideny Young (Simon Pegg) attempting to make it as a big-name journalist for the massively popular Sharps magazine based in New York. The casting is pretty inconsistent - Pegg makes for a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist (perhaps due to the man Sidney is not-so-loosely based on), but you do warm to him eventually, once you've had time to take some pleasure in some of Sidney's failures. Kirsten Dunst makes for a bit of a comedy revelation as Alison Olsen, Sidney's fellow Sharps journalist and love interest, and Gillian Anderson and Miriam Margolyes seem to be relishing their roles as powerful, media-savvy publicist Eleanor Johnson and Mrs Kowalski, Sidney's landlady respectively. Meagan Fox, surprisingly enough, also impresses, at least if, like me, you take her performance as Sophie Maes, a ditsy actress looking to be taken seriously as an aware jab at her own media image. Elsewhere the casting is rather less impressive. Jeff Bridges, playing Sharps editor Clayton Harding, does a rather fine impression of Jeff Bridges. Also, I am yet to see a film where Danny Huston, here playing Sidney's nemesis and immediate superior Lawrence Maddox, puts any effort into a role, but he's got the "skill" of talking a bit too loudly, then a bit too quietly mastered. The film has a few decent jokes, and makes a passing attempt to comment on the plasticity of celebrity and the vindictiveness of journalism, but it's too long, and somehow still manages a rushed, sloppy ending, and unfortunately for a romantic comedy, the romantic element doesn't really work. A few of the jokes miss their mark as well, and the film does resort to Farrelly-grade crudeness now and again. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People does work as a comedy, and actually tries to say something relevant about the modern world, but a few casting, writing and pacing missteps do threaten to ruin your enjoyment of the film. It's worth watching if you've got an evening to kill, and you want a bit of undemanding fun, but it's probably not worth going out of your way to see. Expand
  6. Apr 23, 2013
    A disappointing movie. I never really found a reason to care about what was going on in this movie, and I'm not sure if it's just the writing or a poor performance from Simon Pegg but the main character just disgusted me. I didn't care about any of the characters and laughs were sparse. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People manages to be poor enough to alienate and lose its audience. Expand
  7. Jan 17, 2012
    Kills the thought process I had that Jeff Bridges can't be in a bad film. Hyper real, but in a bad bad way. It's not funny at all. I understand what its trying to do, but it just does it so awfully. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews