How to Lose Friends and Alienate People – Review
Simon Pegg film shows journalism – is just a series of rooms
It’s been a couple of years since we had a film centering around the ruthless world of journalism in America, The Devil Wears Prada being the last in 2006. Simon Pegg’s new movie ‘How To Lose Friends & Alienate People’ emphasised this clearly.
The film is based on the personal accounts of Toby Young, a celebrity journalist who struggled for five years to get to the top at Vanity Faire. Simon Pegg plays a very funny Young who continually shoots himself in the foot at every given opportunity, as he tries to adjust to the realities of life a as journalist.
The film depicts the world of journalism as a pressure cooker waiting to go off, with a career being a natural progression through seven different rooms. As an aspiring journalist I was interested in this portrayal but also somewhat scared at the prospect of its reality. Is journalism really as cold and corrupt as the film suggests.
My instant response would be, of course not, Pegg’s Young does make a plethora or mistakes which earn him the abuse he receives, but whilst he comes out smiling in the end, its the other characters who question their morals and break out of the superfitial world of celebrity which the film exposes through the Megan Fox’s Sophie Maes and those who persist in following her every move.
That said I was somewhat surprised at Young’s ability to stay employed for so long despite all his mistakes or even having a piece published. His rise to the seventh room then happened so quickly, if you blinked you’d have missed it.
Whilst this romantic comedy is not way up there with the big hitters it is still a pleasant enjoyable film. Billed as The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP) with balls the film certainly does focus on the brutal, nature of editors and the hard work journalists have to put in to get their big break. Jeff Bridges however, depsite putting in a good performance fails to live up to Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in TDWP. Megan Fox was on form following her big debut in Transformers and Dunst and Pegg made an interesting pairing in the predictable ending.
However as a film centering around journalism it was a fascinating insight into what happends behind close doors in a newsroom and in order to get to the top you have to make decisions which ultimately affect all of those around you. However whilst you may succeed in your job, such actions don’t necessary bring you happiness and fulfillment.
This is ultimately the films message, do not sacrfice your life for your career, evaluate what is important and do not become embroiled in deceitful actions becuase ultimately you will live to regret it.