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How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

September 19, 2015

HTLFAAPA reasonably humorous yet very insightful attack on Hollywood’s celebrity culture, through the eyes of a rough-and-ready British journalist working on a glossy magazine in New York.

Themes: the truth about success and fame, celebrity culture, dreams, media, relationships and work.

Toby Young, the man around whom the film is based, was banned from the set as he was reportedly annoying actors and interrupting Robert B. Weide as he tried to direct scenes.
Part of the films marketing involves a spoof trailer for an erotic Mother Teresa biopic, in which the Megan Fox character Sophie Maes appears as the young and passionate Teresa.
The film makes several references to the Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski (1998). Sydney accidentally calls Mrs Kowalski “Mrs Lebowski”. Also, Maddox is identified by drinking White Russians, the drink of choice for The Dude, played by Jeff Bridges in “The Big Lebowski”. Also, Simon Pegg called Jeff Bridges ‘dude’ at one point, and Jeff Bridges claimed, “I’m not ‘the Dude'”.
The scene where Sidney asks an actor “Are you gay?” is based on Toby Young doing the same to Nathan Lane regarding his role in The Birdcage (1996).
The scene where Sidney leaves Elizabeth Maddox alone in the hallway after she tripped and fell is based on a similar incident involving Anna Wintour and a Vanity Fair intern.
The book that the staffer was reading (Chris O’Dowd) in the scene where Clayton Harding calls is in fact the the novel How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, the book on which the film was based.
More Lewbowski references: The character played by Kirsten Dunst comes from Port Huron, Michigan. In The Big Lebowski (1998), the Dude is the co-author of the radical Port Huron Statement from the 1960s. 

Sidney Young: [to his father] You thought Brad Pitt was a cave in Yorkshire.

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