Get to know Simon Pegg because it won’t be long till he finally breaks out in to the main stream. You have heard of him in movies like “Shaun Of The Dead”, “Hott Fuzz”, and the underrated “Run Fatboy, Run”. In “Run Fatboy” he proved he can handle the lead role in a romantic comedy. In this movie, “How To Lose Friends And Alienate People”, he manages to not only handle the lead role, but he does it while surrounded by a very strong supporting cast.
Pegg stars as Sidney Young, a British celebrity journalist who is hired by an upscale New York magazine called Sharp. Sidney catches the attention of Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), editor of Sharp, and accepts a job with the magazine in New York City. Clayton warns Sidney that he’d better impress and charm everyone he can, if he wants to succeed. Instead, Sidney instantly insults and annoys fellow writer Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst). He dares to target the star clients of power publicist Eleanor Johnson (Gillian Anderson). He upsets his direct boss Lawrence Maddox (Danny Huston) and tries to make amends by hiring a stripper to dance for Lawrence during a staff meeting. Sidney, of course, doesn’t stop there, finding creative ways to annoy nearly everyone. His saving graces: a rising, sexy starlet (Megan Fox) develops an odd affection for him, and in time, Alison whose friendship with him might be the only thing saving Sidney from torpedoing his career.
So besides Simon Pegg, we get delicious performances from the likes of Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson, Megan Fox, and a wonderfully loathsome show by Danny Huston. It is also nice to see Kirstin Dunst in something other then a Spider-man movie. She really shines here.
Director Robert Weide of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame, really has a great ear for smart and witty dialogue. He doesn’t just settle for the lame dialogue of similar movies like “The Devil Wears Prada”. He allows his large cast space and screen time to really let their characters flow. This is one of the best movies of the year.