I’m a huge fan of Simon Pegg. I enjoy movies in genres I hate (zombies, action cop) just because he’s in them. He’s why I chose to watch How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, which came out only four months ago but I don’t recall ever seeing in theaters. Now I know why: it’s a boring waste of a good cast.
Pegg plays a celebrity journalist trying to get into the good parties. He’s very annoying. The story is based on a memoir by Toby Young about his experience at Vanity Fair.
Pegg’s character obviously hates those he covers, so you wonder why he doesn’t find a job he’s better suited for. Yet he desparately wants to be a celebrity, to be part of that world, so he’s living off of disdain and the resulting self-loathing. He does stupid things that annoy those he’s supposed to be working for/with as though that will demonstrate his independence. All it shows is his immaturity. It’s only because Pegg is so likable that I got as far into the film as I did. The gross jokes and slapstick put me off, and I finally gave up before the end. I’m told the main plot becomes a predictably Hollywood romantic comedy.
Also in the movie are Megan Fox as a pretty girl; co-worker Kirsten Dunst; and Jeff Bridges as the boss editor. I found most of my enjoyment from spotting cameos. Oh, look, it’s the woman (and later the guy) from The IT Crowd. Oh, look, she was Pegg’s girlfriend in that running movie.
Special features include a press kit making-of and two commentaries. One by director Robert Weide is about shoot details; the other, with Weide and Pegg, is more anecdotal. However, Weide is telling people not to buy the Region 1 DVD (this edition). It seems that a lot of extra material, including deleted scenes, a gag reel, and video diaries, were available for use, but Fox/MGM didn’t bother. Some deleted scenes were cut from the theatrical release with the knowledge that they’d be on the DVD, and now they aren’t. All of this material will instead be on the Region 2 DVD, due out in March. It makes the commentaries particularly odd, since they make frequent reference to how the viewer will see talked-about material in the deleted scenes, which aren’t included.
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