How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Rated 3.0

A sweetly boorish British tabloid journalist (Simon Pegg) lands a dream job at a trendy New York magazine, where his behavior earns him nothing but contempt—and the grudging compassion of one co-worker (Kirsten Dunst). Writer Peter Straughan fictionalizes Toby Young’s memoir of his stint at Vanity Fair into a romantic comedy pairing Pegg and Dunst like two mismatched socks that look surprisingly nice together. Not every comic idea works, but the movie is often wickedly funny, and it reaches a special plain in the beautifully written (and played) scenes between the two stars. Jeff Bridges glowers as the magazine’s editor, Danny Huston plays a smarmy associate and Gillian Anderson, in a rare comic turn, sinks her teeth into the role of a carnivorous publicist. Robert B. Weide directs with a light touch.