Friday, August 07, 2009

Foxy Friday Fluff

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People is based on Toby Young's memoir of his experiences at Vanity Fair magazine. Young, played here by Simon Pegg, was the acerbic Brit you saw last season on Top Chef; Pegg plays him as a quivering mass of British awkwardness. A strong cast can't make up for a script that offers shallow insights about celebrity and the culture of those who make their living covering it. Jeff Bridges is largely wasted as the magazine editor who hires Pegg's character. Bridges's hair gives his character away as a stand in for Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter. Kirsten Dunst plays the staffer Pegg alternately annoys and attracts and reaps the benefits of playing the role that most closely resembles a human being. Here's hoping for a comeback; Sandra Bullock can't do every romantic comedy.

How To Lose Friends is the first time I've ever actually seen Megan Fox act in a film as opposed to having her imposed on my consciousness through photo shoots and ironic interviews. Fox plays a starlet with a self-centered streak that doesn't come out until late in the game. Her expressions and timing are the mark of an inexperienced actress but in this broadly played affair she emerges about as well as anyone (The mock trailer for her character's Mother Teresa biopic is the funniest thing in the movie) I don't plan on catching either of the Transformers flicks anytime soon, but in the interest of journalism we'll keep watching Ms. Fox in her future efforts.

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