Director: Robert B Weide
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson, Kirsten Dunst
Toby Young’s self-satisfied memoirs 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People' comes to the screen as a film that tries hard to be what it should have been.
It fails however because it has too many moments when a sort of panic seems to have set in to wreck the pace of the piece. From the half-way point everything is telegraphed and rushed.
Though there are some quite encouragingly witty moments and Pegg does his best as Young’s alter-ego Sidney, there isn’t enough meat to bring us a decent feast.
Sidney is the sort of journalist who gets the profession a bad name. He runs his own magazine, Post Modern Review, as a weapon against the cult of fame and celebrity – nothing at all wrong in that, of course – but then moves Stateside to work for a New York magazine called Sharps, edited by one Clayton Harding (played brilliantly by the always consistent Bridges).
In the heady world of Manhattan, Sidney starts out as the sort of man no outfit would allow across its front door: his decreasingly funny pranks are merely embarrassing.
But, of course, Sidney triumphs by selling out what few virtues he had in the first place.
Pegg is good, Bridges even better and Anderson and Dunst merely along for the pay-cheque.
One problem with the film is that the style and humour isn’t geared to an American audience but to a British one … and even then there is hardly anything about the paper-thin characters to enlist our support.
Star Rating: 2/5