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Pegg delivers laughs, heart in Weide's 'People'Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at 11:47 PM
Simon Pegg has one the best faces in the biz. Pegg might still be flying under the casual moviegoer's radar, but for fans of the comedic Brit, his rise in Hollywood is a breath of fresh air.
Pegg has starred in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Run Fat Boy Run, and his most recent offering How to Lose Friends and Alienate People hit DVD shelves recently.
The beautiful thing about Pegg is he's an everyman. His is the representation of you or I, the common everyday person and hopes to achieve spectacular things, but stumbles most of the way.
In How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Pegg plays Sydney Young, a bumbling British entertainment journalist who continuously finds himself on the wrong side of the velvet rope. After being refused entrance to an upscale party, Young crashes the gig and subsequently is hired by the very man whose shindig he crashes.
He transplants himself in New York and beings to navigate his way up through the ranks at Sharps. Early on, he encounters Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst) at the bar and sets up their twisted, unique relationship. Unwilling to compromise, Young continues to find that although he now is on the right side of the velvet rope, his dream still eludes him. A series of hilarious misfortunes befall Young and for the first time in his life, he is willing to do what it takes to march to the top.
Dulling his edge, Young becomes just one of the faceless writers at Sharps, which elevates his status at the magazine and in the entertainment world. But just when he gets what he wants, his conscience comes calling.
It would be easy to dislike Young or downright find him repulsive, but that's where Pegg's charm comes into play. The way he uses his facial expressions to draw you in and kill you with laughter is second to none. Pegg is able to present a character that is arrogant, unrelenting and over-the-top, yet make him a sympathetic soul who you find yourself rooting for.
Dunst is delightful as Alison, a wounded romantic who falls for the wrong guy and takes the entirety of the film to discover who she really is.
Jeff Bridges (Clayton Harding), Danny Huston (Lawrence Maddox) and Gillian Anderson (Eleanor Johnson) deliver unbelievably strong performances and the breathtaking Megan Fox shows she's more than just a beautiful face.
In a disturbing trend, the disk offers little in the way of special features. Two commentary tracks, a Making of featurette and that is it. The banter between Pegg and director Richard B. Weide is well worth watching the film a second viewing.
Final Cut: People is a nice little film that offers laughs, heart and a slew of wonderful performances. The film lags in areas, but the overall package still an enjoyable one.
* 3.5 out of 5 stars
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Starring: Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson, Megan Fox
Director: Richard B. Weide
Writer: Peter Straughan (screenplay), Toby Young (memoir)
Available now on DVD and Blu-Ray
* Making of featurette
* Two audio Commentaries