Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People


In the last decade Simon Pegg has become one of my favorite comic actors and writers. In addition to great comedy films like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and Paul he has done very well for himself by becoming part of the Mission Impossible and Ice Age franchises. His most recent starring vehicle, The World’s End, was another winner.

But along the way he has also made some losers, as we all do. This is one of them. It starts out well enough, with Pegg playing a brash outsider desperate to get a job at a celebrity gossip magazine so he can hobnob with the stars. The lengths he will go to toward that end are pretty funny. Then he gets the job, and it all falls apart. It all becomes too formulaic. The budding romance between him and Kirsten Dunst just doesn’t work. (IT has to be romance, because she hates him and their first meeting, then somehow becomes his buddy for no reason I could see, so you know she’s gonna be the gal for him.) Why gruff old boss Jeff Bridges would put up with him after his repeated disastrous attempts at interviews is way beyond unbelievable. At about the halfway point I realized I hadn’t laughed for twenty minutes or more, and shut it down.