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"HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS & ALIENATE PEOPLE"
(2008) (Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Mild Heavy None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor None Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Moderate Minor Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A rebellious and uncouth British journalist is hired by a well-respected New York magazine and shakes up both it and the celebrity world on which it reports.
PLOT:
Due to having an actress mother who died when he was little, Sidney Young (SIMON PEGG) has always dreamed of bumping elbows with the rich and famous, particularly celebrities. Yet, he's always denied access to the best parties, including a recent one thrown by American publishing magnate Clayton Harding (JEFF BRIDGES). The latter is impressed enough by the reporter's spunk and rebelliousness, however, that he hires him to work for the I Spy department of his flagship publication, Sharp's magazine.

Living in a rental apartment run by Mrs. Kowalski (MIRIAN MARGOLYES) and working for Lawrence Maddox (DANNY HUSTON) alongside Alison Olsen (KIRSTEN DUNST) with whom he made a bad first impression, Sidney immediately wants to get into the game.

He soon realizes, however, that it's Lawrence and not him who gets to schmooze with the likes of powerful publicist Eleanor Johnson (GILLIAN ANDERSON) and her range of clients that include hot egotistical director Vincent Lepak (MAX MINGHELLA) and the alluring and soon to be next big thing in Hollywood, Sophie Maes (MEGAN FOX).

Setting his sights on bedding the latter before his married boss gets the chance, Sidney ends up rubbing most everyone the wrong way, mostly due to his unorthodox and uncouth demeanor and behavior. As he continues to ruffle feathers, he finds himself falling for Alison, but must decide whether he wants to sell out in order to make it big in the celebrity business.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of anyone in the cast or celebrities and the coverage of them might be interested. Otherwise, it doesn't seem too likely, especially among younger kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language, some graphic nudity and brief drug material.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SIMON PEGG plays a reporter for a small British newspaper who always wants to get into the best celebrity parties and gets his chance when Clayton hires him to write for his publication. After meeting Sophie, he makes it his goal to have sex with her before his boss, Lawrence, but eventually finds himself falling for Alison, his coworker. He apparently sleeps with others, and eventually sells out after being an irritant to most everyone. He's uncouth and undisciplined, uses strong profanity, drinks and briefly smokes.
  • KIRSTEN DUNST plays his coworker who's secretly having an affair with Lawrence and initially dislikes Sidney, but grows to like him and becomes his only real friend at work. She uses strong profanity and drinks, including to the point of intoxication.
  • MEGAN FOX plays a young starlet who's the up-and-coming next big thing in Hollywood. She takes to Sidney, first drawn by his wounded animal aura, and then again once he becomes powerful in Hollywood, promising to have sex with him if she wins a big award. She also drinks to the point of intoxication which is when she also says she wishes she had some cocaine.
  • DANNY HUSTON plays Sidney and Alison's boss at the magazine who enjoys schmoozing with the power players and starlets, and stealing others' ideas when it will benefit him. He drinks, uses strong profanity, and is having an affair with Alison.
  • JEFF BRIDGES plays the owner/publisher of the magazine who hires Sidney because he sees something of an early version of himself in the rebellious and uncouth staffer. Cynical about the business, he uses strong profanity, smokes, and drinks.
  • GILLIAN ANDERSON plays a powerful publicist who wants to be in bed with his publication, but only if she has final cut on what's written about her clients.
  • MIRIAN MARGOLYES plays Sidney's landlord who occasionally smacks him to put him in his place.
  • MAX MINGHELLA plays a hot young director who believes in all of his hype. He uses strong profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 25 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Sexually related dialogue and song lyrics are present, as is nudity (bare breasts, butt and penis of a transgender stripper) and partial nudity (men's bare butts), while scantly clad people and varying amounts of cleavage are also seen.

    There's some brief comedy-based fighting and striking of others, while one comedy bit involves the accidental death of a small dog. People drink in various scenes, sometimes to the point of intoxication and being sick. There's brief drug content (coke), but no use, while some characters smoke. Some behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, there's some crude humor, and various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from a barrage of press photos being taken.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at an awards ceremony.
  • People have drinks at a party.
  • Sidney has champagne.
  • People drink in a club.
  • People drink in a club, with Alison having one in front of her, as well as a white Russian for her absent boyfriend. When Sidney has the same as some women he wants to pick up, he reacts in shock and asks what it is. The bartender says it's water, with Sidney being shocked and saying there should be beer or something in it. When Alison leaves, Sidney asks if he can have her boyfriend's drink.
  • Sidney and the woman he's picked up appear to be intoxicated and wildly dance around his apartment.
  • We see commercial beers ads in New York City.
  • About the I Spy division for which he now works, Sidney says they photograph celebrities when they're drunk.
  • We see a photo of two men with drinks.
  • Sidney complains that no one at Sharp's is drunk (unlike what he expected).
  • People drink at a party, including Lawrence with champagne, and an older actress who has the same.
  • Clayton has a drink.
  • We see that Alison has a white Russian drink waiting for her boyfriend again.
  • People drink at a picnic party, including Sidney and Alison who have wine, with him then going off to get beer for both (but we only later see him drinking his and being a bit intoxicated). Others there also drink, including Lawrence who has a white Russian. Later, Sidney meets a dentist turned spiritual healer who asks if he wants to do some coke. Sidney later remembers that when an intoxicated Sophie (who has champagne) lies down beside him by the pool, says she's wasted, and adds that some coke would be nice as it makes her horny. Sidney then races off to find that dentist and purchases a small bag of coke from him. While returning to Sophie, he sees a very drunk Alison (who was earlier seen drinking straight from a bottle of champagne or wine) trying to get into her car. He won't let her drive and thus the coke doesn't make it to Sophie, but Alison later finds it in his coat jacket back at his place. She vomits a few times, and has a hangover the next morning.
  • People have drinks at a party, including Sidney, Alison and Lawrence.
  • Lawrence has a white Russian and Alison has wine.
  • Eleanor, Sophie and Sidney have champagne in a restaurant where others have wine.
  • People drink in a club.
  • People drink at a party.
  • Sidney drinks by himself and appears intoxicated.
  • People drink in a bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see pig excrement on a hotel floor. Later, we see the pig urinating on a woman's feet at a party.
  • Sidney mistakenly gargles with what appears to be a glass of urine.
  • Sidney chokes and accidentally coughs up chewed food onto the back of Lawrence's wife's jacket where it sticks (she doesn't realize that).
  • About asking celebrities personal questions, Clayton tells Sidney, "If you want to probe, become a proctologist."
  • About his nostalgia, Clayton says that it's now passed, like gas.
  • Sidney has a little bit of a bloody knee following a fall.
  • While intoxicated, Alison vomits into Sidney's lap as he drives (we hear but don't see the act). The next morning, she runs off to vomit again (nothing heard nor seen), and then tells Sidney she could throw up on him again (about dancing while hung-over).
  • Sidney wears a Dracula costume at a party with some fake blood from the corners of his mouth.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Sidney tries to crash various parties using various white lies.
  • Sidney dresses down and wears a t-shirt to work (on his first day) that reads "Young, dumb and full of come."
  • Sidney ignores a call from his father asking him to pick up the phone.
  • Lawrence ignores a past her prime actress, but later takes Sidney's idea to profile her comeback.
  • Vincent is full of himself and his hype, saying he is his own role model and "I want to be me."
  • About the actors in the movie "Con Air" and who they appeal to, Sidney says John Cusack is there for "the gays."
  • Lawrence says that Sidney is their own idiot savant, without the savant part.
  • During an interview with an actor who did vocal work as a chipmunk in a kid's film, Sidney asks if the man is Jewish. He then asks if the chipmunk is gay, and then if the actor is gay. Later, Clayton reprimands Sidney about this, telling him from now on to assume that everyone is Jewish and gay.
  • Those who don't like humor that stems from animals and violence might not like the following: Sidney tries to play with Sophie's small dog, but reacts in horror when a bouncing ball goes out the window with the dog headed there as well while chasing it. He dives and closes the window in time, with the dog bouncing off the glass, but a large sculpture then teeters off its base and falls onto the dog, killing it (we don't see the impact, and this is played for laughs). We later see the dog's paw sticking out of a bag that Sidney is carrying. Later, Sidney learns that some goldfish he sent to Sophie arrived dead, and we then see them floating in the fish bowl.
  • Sidney hires a stripper (who turns out to be a male transsexual) to do her thing for Lawrence in his office at work (to get incriminating photos of his boss), not realizing it's "bring your daughter to work" day.
  • Alison admits that she and Lawrence (her married boss) are having an affair.
  • Some of Alison's coworkers have a condescending attitude toward Sidney, but we later see that one of them is apparently now sleeping with him once he's become famous and powerful.
  • Eleanor and Vincent have Sidney get down on his knees in the rain outside their limo to beg to do a story on Vincent.
  • We hear that Lawrence left his wife for Alison, but then see him tell the latter to get rid of her tattered book (her unfinished novel) saying it's embarrassing.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Stupid f*cking asshole," "Oh f*ck," "He's f*cking small, isn't he?" "What the f*ck are you?" "It's a rat-f*ck," "Will you leave me the f*ck alone?" "I don't mean to be rude, but what the f*ck do you want?" "F*cker," "Would you grow the f*ck up?" "Quit your bitching and do your f*cking job," "F*ck-up," "Oh sh*t," "Beat the sh*t out of you," "You're sh*tting me," "T*ts of Fury," "I brought her back for a little...penis," "I was producing sperm at 13," "You big corporate d*ck-lick," "An annoying little pr*ck," "Coke always makes me horny," "I'm a whore," "The last women she caught me with had a penis," "Screwing around," "Clipboard Nazi type woman," "Just doing my bit for the gene pool," "Mussolini's baby," "He's our own idiot savant," "Do not piss her off," "If you want to probe, become a proctologist," "All I could taste was ass" (said about kissing it), "He's an idiot," "For Pete's sake," "Shut up," "It's passed, like gas" (said about nostalgia), "Bitch" (verb), "God, no," "You're a stupid asshole," "That's grim," "He's such a creep," "Wanker," "You can be my bitch" (said by a woman to a man) and "I'm your little limpy pig."
  • We see a miscellaneous woman with some small tattoos.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Sidney does some exaggerated dancing in a club, driving most everyone off the dance floor (they come back when he leaves).
  • Sidney and the woman he's picked up appear to be intoxicated and wildly dance around his apartment.
  • We see Sidney with tape pulling on his nose and ears in an exaggerated fashion.
  • We see Sidney in just his boxers out on a balcony railing, nervous to try to go around the wall to the next room's balcony. Others there mock disappointment in him chickening out, with Sophie then stripping down to her bra and panties and apparently doing that stunt (we don't see the actual act).
  • In a scene from another movie, a man rides on a woman's back (she on all fours) and playfully slaps her clothed butt.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Sidney suddenly bangs on Eleanor's limo window at night.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • We hear a song that repeats the lines "Oh, me so horny" and "Love you long time."
  • Some songs had lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus presenting the possibility of them potentially containing something objectionable.
  • A song has the line "Give me your love" along with what sounded like sexually related lyrics.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 25 "f" words, 7 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("screwing around"), 4 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck" and "d*ck"), 1 using female ones ("twats"), 1 for breasts ("t*ts"), 7 asses (4 used with "hole"), 1 hell, 1 wanker, 3 uses each of "God" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "G-damn," "Holy Christ," "Jesus" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Sidney says (via voice-over narration) that Sophie said she'd have sex with him if she wins the best actresses award. She does, but the scene then ends there.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Sidney leaves a borrowed pet pig in a hotel room and jokingly tells it, "No porn."
  • Sidney tells Thandie Newton he's a screenwriter and jokes that his movie is called "T*ts of Fury."
  • We see a presumably doctored photo of Clayton on the cover of Sidney's magazine that shows his rear nudity down to the top of his bare butt at the bottom of the cover.
  • Mrs. Kowalski complains about celebrities, and that if they take out their breasts, they become one. Sidney replies that it depends on the breasts.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Sidney and the sexy woman he's picked up appear to be intoxicated and wildly dance around his apartment. She tells him to put on some music that's more romantic. He chooses heavy metal, but is then shocked when the "woman" turns out to be a transgender guy (we see his bare butt, Sidney and Mrs. Kowalski, who's now entered the apartment, see the man's penis). Just as that occurs, Sidney tells Mrs. Kowalski, "I brought her back for a little...penis." Later, we see that person sleeping and adjusting his penis (covered by a skirt and thus not seen).
  • Sidney wears a t-shirt to work (on his first day) that reads "Young, dumb and full of come."
  • Alison makes a mocking comment about Sidney and trying to pick up transsexuals.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage in another scene.
  • Sidney defines "totty" (or "toddy") as "babes" and "sexually attractive women."
  • Eleanor shows cleavage as does Sophie in a very low-cut dress. The latter then purposefully wades through a swimming pool at an important party, all to make a big splash. She then comes out of the water in her now wet and clingy dress under which the shape of her nipples can be seen. About that dress, Sidney jokingly tells her he'd vote for her for best supporting dress. Later, we see a photo of her in that dress with the caption reading "Venus Envy."
  • When Alison doesn't believe Sidney's claim that Lawrence is old enough to be Sophie's father, Sidney says he (Sidney) was producing sperm at the age of 13. He then says that there's no blood left in Lawrence's upper body (an erection reference).
  • Sidney tells Alison that he wants to have sex with Sophie before Lawrence does.
  • We see the very top of Sidney's butt crack while he's bent over and his shirt rides up while his pants ride down a bit.
  • Sidney hires a stripper to do her thing for Lawrence in his office at work. He does so to take incriminating photos of the lap dance, etc. and we see the woman in her small, cleavage revealing bra and tiny thong bottom (that shows most of her bare butt). She then drops her top to reveal her bare breasts and Lawrence and others are enjoying this show, but just as Clayton's wife and two young daughters walk in, the stripper reveals that he's of the transgender variety and we see his penis (that Sidney quickly covers with his hand upon seeing the wife and kids). Sidney later comments on getting something on his hand from that penis.
  • Alison admits that she and Lawrence (her married boss) are having an affair.
  • An intoxicated and cleavage-revealing Sophie lies down beside Sidney by a pool, says that she's wasted and drawn to injured animal types like him, and that some cocaine would be nice as "Coke always makes me horny." Sidney then races off to find a dentist who earlier offered him some coke, but he's sidetracked before he can return that drug to her.
  • Sidney carries an intoxicated Alison back to his place over his shoulder, with her drunkenly repeating, "I'm a whore." Once back in his place, and with Mrs. Kowalski and his dad there, she plays a song that repeats the line, "Oh, me so horny...love you long time."
  • About Mrs. Kowalski, Sidney jokingly states that the last woman she caught him with (above) had a penis.
  • Clayton comments on Lawrence "screwing around" (sexually) at work.
  • Alison goes to see Sidney at his hotel room, but then sees one of her former coworkers walk by in the background wearing just a small bra and panties (Sidney is in a robe).
  • We see Sidney in just his boxers out on a balcony railing, nervous to try to go around the wall to the next room's balcony. Others there (some who show cleavage) mock disappointment in him chickening out, with Sophie then stripping down to her bra and panties and apparently doing that stunt (we don't see the actual act). She then tells him to give her his ring and that if she wins the best actress award, she'll let him have sex with her.
  • A song has the line "Give me your love" along with what sounded like sexually related lyrics.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • In a scene from another movie, a man rides on a woman's back (she on all fours) and playfully slaps her clothed butt.
  • Sidney and Alison passionately kiss while clothed and standing.
  • SMOKING
  • Clayton smokes several times, Sidney smokes once, and a minor character smokes.
  • While intoxicated, Alison asks where her cigarettes are, and Sidney reminds her that she doesn't smoke, and she then remembers that.
  • Alison holds an unlit cigarette in a long cigarette holder as part of her outfit at a costume party.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Sidney ignores a call from his father asking him to pick up the phone.
  • Sidney isn't happy to see his father, but we learn that's because the latter is very successful and Sidney doesn't think he meets his father's standards.
  • We hear that Sidney's mom died when he was very young, but that he got to see her on TV as she was an actress in various movies.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The real life story on which this is based.
  • Celebrities and the coverage of them.
  • Transsexuals.
  • Sidney isn't happy to see his father, but we learn that's because the latter is very successful and Sidney doesn't think he meets his father's standards.
  • Sidney eventually selling out to achieve his lifelong dream of hobnobbing with celebrities.
  • Interoffice affairs (especially involving a boss and a subordinate).
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for comedy.
  • We see a trashed hotel room, courtesy of a pet pig left there.
  • During some pig-caused chaos at a party, a woman is accidentally knocked into a swimming pool.
  • Some of Sidney's staff struggle over some equipment and we then hear one or more tumbling down some steps from that.
  • Mrs. Kowalski slaps Sidney for a smart remark.
  • Mrs. Kowalski slaps Sidney in a later scene.
  • Eleanor yanks a piece of tape off Sidney's ear, causing him a little pain.
  • Sidney tries to play with Sophie's small dog, but reacts in horror when a bouncing ball goes out the window with the dog headed there as well while chasing it. He dives and closes the window in time, with the dog bouncing off the glass, but a large sculpture then teeters off its base and falls onto the dog, killing it (we don't see the impact, and this is played for laughs). We later see the dog's paw sticking out of a bag that Sidney is carrying.
  • While intoxicated, Sidney stands up on a platform and does some chanting, but then falls backwards into the shrubs. We later see him with a bit of a bloody knee, and Alison then kicks him there, followed by him trying to sit on a swing but falling backwards to the ground from that.
  • Eleanor rolls up her limo window and pinches Sidney's fingers at the top.
  • After Sidney wants his ring back from Sophie and then admits that he (accidentally) killed her dog, she grabs and tackles him to the floor in the middle of an awards show. They struggle on the floor, she kicks him several times, and he grabs her by the foot, sending her to the floor. While leaving, he grabs Vincent's sunglasses, throws them to the floor and repeatedly stomps on them.



  • Reviewed September 30, 2008 / Posted October 3, 2008

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