New York Film Locations

One Week With Megan Fox: Day Five

14 August 2020

This week, otsoNY is running a special feature on actress Megan Fox. Today's focus is the film How to Lose Friends & Alienate People", which was shot in New York City.

In 2008, Megan Fox starred in “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People” as Sophie Maes, an up and coming movie star. The plot of the film circled around Sidney Young, an aspiring British journalist who ran a failing polemical magazine, attempted to infiltrate a party organised by Clayton Harding played by Jeff Bridges, the CEO of Sharps Magazine, one of the most prestigious magazines in the world. In doing so, he momentarily gained Clayton's sympathy, as the latter began his own career through polemics. Sidney was offered a job at Sharps, and moved to New York City, but he quickly earned the scorn of his colleagues, including Alison Olsen played by Kirsten Dunst and the manager Lawrence Maddox played by Danny Huston, as a result of his rudeness, vulgarity, and general unattractiveness.

He discovered that interviews with famous performers must be arranged by an influential publicist named Eleanor Johnson played by Gillian Anderson, who imposed restrictions on published content, which offended Sidney, since he enjoyed writing polemics. On one occasion, Sidney accidentally killed the dog of a rising actress named Sophie Maes played by Megan Fox, to whom Sidney was intensely sexually attracted. To his fortune, Alison, who despised Sidney, agreed to help him conceal the mistake. Sidney gained Alison’s respect by explaining his disapproval of Eleanor's practices, and Alison revealed that she also despised her job, and had been working sporadically on a novel for years, which she hoped to publish. At a bar Sidney met a girl played by Charlotte Devaney and took her home, only to discover she was a transgender.

At a party, Sidney discovered that Alison was having an affair with Lawrence, but had chosen to end it. He was approached by Sophie, who had become drunk, but forfeits the chance to sleep with her, upon discovering that Alison was also drunk and needed to be driven. At his apartment, Alison met Sidney's father, who turned out to be a well known philosophy professor, and a member of the nobility. Later, Sidney attempted to ask Alison on a date, but learned that she was reuniting with Lawrence, who had just divorced his wife, who was Clayton's daughter. Being heavily depressed, Sidney compromised his journalistic principles and begged to work with Eleanor. Not only did Eleanor agree, but Lawrence and Alison were pressured to leave by Clayton, as a result of Lawrence's divorce, leading to Sidney's promotion. Sidney worked hard, writing to please others rather than to criticise, and earned several more promotions within a short time, as well as gaining access to the highest celebrities and most exclusive social gatherings.

On the night before a prestigious film-awards ceremony, Sidney attended an informal party led by Sophie, and was pressured into surrendering his golden ring, which has been a gift from his late mother. He regained his contempt for high society, and the next evening, as Sophie was approaching the stage to claim her award, he seized her and took back the ring, and also cursed her, revealing that he was the one who killed her dog. In response, Sophie attacked Sidney, attracting negative attention and ruining his reputation. Nonetheless, Sidney, who had quit his job with Sharps, and felt a slight confusion concerning his life's direction, looked for Alison, who by now had separated with Lawrence, and the two of them began a relationship.

The film had several New York locations including Ludlow Street, Times Square, the tall office building at 750 on 3rd Avenue, the roof top swimming pool at SoHo House New York at 29-35 9th Avenue, Soho Grand Hotel at 310 West Broadway, The Circle Club at 135 West 41st Street and the Brooklyn Bridge Park.


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