“How to Lose Friends …” is an instructional video on failure

âÄúHow to Lose Friends and Alienate PeopleâÄù Directed by: Robert B. Weide Starring: Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, Jeff Bridges Rated: R Showing at: Area Theaters The Pussycat Dolls , skydiving, an episode of âÄúJoey âÄù and Taco Bell’s Volcano Taco are just a few things in life that aren’t worth your money or attention more than once. âÄúHow to Lose Friends and Alienate People,âÄù a film based on a memoir by Toby Young, a former editor at âÄúVanity Fair,âÄù is one of these vague failures. The movie revolves around Sidney Young (Simon Pegg), the editor of a scathing British gossip magazine, who gets a call from Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), the editor-in-chief of a high-powered publication based in New York City, with an enticing job offer. Bent on climbing the editorial ladder and âÄúshaking things up,âÄù Young finds himself amid a complex hierarchy of kiss-ass journalists (Kirsten Dunst), cut-throat publicists and talentless celebrities (Megan Fox). From the beginning, the film’s finale seems inevitable. This is far from a fatal flaw, but nothing keeps us wondering what’s in the making. Constant hints at Young’s discontent and blooming amore ensure that the ending will be happy from the beginning. The acting in the film is far from stellar. Pegg adds no dimension to his transparent character, and his attempts at sincerity are as laughable as his humor. The film’s biggest assets are Bridges, who counters as the male version of Miranda Priestley from âÄúThe Devil Wears Prada ,âÄù and Fox, who plays a more attractive, brunette Paris Hilton, Chihuahua and all. Dunst’s pseudo-heroine is simple and flighty. At times she captures her timid character strongly, but these are not enough to save the performance as a whole. Unsurprisingly, her best acting is apparent only after her character has gulped through an entire bottle of red wine. She proceeds to gyrate along to âÄúMe So HornyâÄù in front of Young’s landlord and father. The film’s only departure from the blasé is in its soundtrack. From The Kinks and Joey Ramone to The Killers and Dusty Springfield , each moment of the film is punctuated by an excellent musicality that adds a flood of emotion not present in the actors. Unfortunately for all involved, a soundtrack cannot save a film. âÄúHow to Lose FriendsâÄù is not a terrible movie. Pegg’s slapstick British attitude and continuous run-ins with transsexual strippers are hilarious, but that alone isn’t enough to make this movie great. The writing and story structure falter continuously. Providing shallow laughter and utter mediocrity hardly merits a rental for this flick.