Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Movie Review

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People a.k.a. “New York für Anfänger”

MPAA Rating: R for language, some graphic nudity and brief drug material.

Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
October 3, 2008
DVD: February 17, 2009
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films
True love

Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Featuring: Simon Pegg
Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” “Run, Fatboy, Run


Kirsten Dunst
Spider-Man

Megan Fox
Transformers

Jeff Bridges
The Big Lebowski,” “Iron Man,” “Seabiscuit

Gillian Anderson
The X Files,” “The Last King of Scotland,” “The X Files: I Want to Believe

Kelan Pannell, Katherine Parkinson, Miquel Brown, Emily Denniston, Danny Huston, Allen Lidkey, Sarah Mennell, Max Minghella, Margo Stilley
Director: Robert B. Weide
Producer: Laurie Borg, Carrie Fix, Richard Hewitt, Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Gary Smith, Courtney Solomon, Stephen Woolley, Toby Young, Allan Zeman
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) / Number 9 Films

“He’s across the pond and out of his depth.”

“How To Lose Friends And Alienate People” is a fairly typical tale of an inspired, brilliant and bitter observer of the entertainment industry. Sydney Young (Simon Pegg) has his master's degree in Philosophy and yet chooses to run a cynical and sarcastic magazine in England, which catches the eye of American Magazine CEO Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges.) Feeling nostalgic of his earlier days in the business, before becoming a sell out, on a whim, Clayton hires Sydney and brings him to the U.S.

Sydney's lack of class (at least compared to the industry's definition), immediately causes him infinite problems. Well, wait… The film actually starts off with a display of Sydney's lack of class and the issues which result…

I guess that pretty much sums up the entire film, now that I think about it…

Negatives

Oh where to begin… Profanity is heavy and consistently strewn throughout. Competing with the profanity are crude sexual remarks, sexist comments and blatant talk of sex.

Early on, Sydney meets an eager woman at a bar, whom he takes home with him, only to be disappointed (I think… it honestly never really says) with the very present penis between her legs. It doesn't show nudity in this scene, but later on we do see the full nudity of breasts and penis.

There are several instances where drugs are received and shown on screen, or talked about.

There is an adulterous affair taking place.

Several main screen characters are shown drunk, or stoned, fairly often.

This is not even close to all that is offensive, but these were the bigger issues.

Positives

The film really tries to maintain the strong message of not selling out your ambitions, dreams or confidence for the easy road of money and fame.

My biggest complaint, honestly, from this film is it's erratic soapbox. First, we are introduced to Sydney, who is vile and offensive—yet, somehow, we are expected to connect with him and sympathize as he struggles. Mid-film, things shift, and we are expected to believe this endearing and sensitive side that appears out of nowhere. As he becomes one of the sell-outs he seemed to loathe and detest, the audience is supposed to feel sad for him. Suddenly, a love story kind of worms its way into the plotline (between Sydney and his co-worker Alison—Kirsten Dunst) and gone is the in your face Sydney we met just an hour before.

I just couldn't buy it. Any of it. The characters, the relationships or the storyline… The ONLY thing this movie has going for it is the consistent humor woven throughout, though a majority of that is crass as well. I urge everyone to save their money, when it comes to seeing this movie. It really isn't even worth waiting for the DVD, but rather skip it entirely.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments

Sorry, no viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO