Man Up Review


In the Mix
Director - Ben Palmer, Writer - Tess Morris, Cast - Simon Pegg, Lake Bell, Rory Kinnear, Sharon Horgan, Ken Stott, Ophelia Lovibond

The Skinny in 10 words
"Girl pretends to be different girl to meet boy. Aaah."

The Quote
Jessica: "It was an international bestseller."
Nancy: "So is the Da Vinci Code.
Jessica:"Oh, another excellent book."
Nancy: "No, not an excellent book. "

The Beef
This rom-com brings a big surprise... It isn't crap! And even more shocking, it's actually really quite good.

I don't know about you but since the alleged retirement of the British royalty of rom-com, Richard Curtis, I felt his on screen style has been sorely missed! This film feels like a modern day continuation of his work. Will it be as iconic as say, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually?? Hell no but it makes for a bloody good fun hour and a half.

The movie in short; Nancy (Bell) has all but given up on love and putting herself out there in any way. A chance encounter on a train with an overly optimistic Jessica (Lovibond) and a self-help book creates a case of mistaken identity and a blind date of bowling, drinking and dancing with Jack (Pegg).

The two leads in this film are one of many reasons why this film is elevated from a crappy same-as-all-the-rest comedy to one well worth seeing. Nancy, played by American, Lake Bell, (who has a killer British accent from her time here at drama school) is both funny, ballsy and above all she's damn likeable in this movie. Always the bridesmaid never the bride, its great to see her getting more lead roles now after a long line of work in well known TV series.

Then we have Jack, which sees the welcome return home for British boy done good, Simon Pegg. There is real chemistry between these two and they are a genuine joy to watch on screen together with their witty back and forth. I mean who doesn't love watching actors pretending to be hammered drunk and making tits of themselves..? No one, that's who.

There are a few moments in this movie where you get to lean back, smiling and think "brilliant". It may not completely rewrite the rule book and it isn't going to stop you guessing what's going to happen a long way before but that won't make you love this movie any less I assure you.

I have to say one watch out (in a good way don't worry) and that's for the very odd and very amusing bowling alley employee from Nancy's past, Sean, played by the absolute legend in the making, Rory Kinnear. He makes for some very British humour on display and delivers one of my favourite lines if you are paying attention closely.

Popcorn or Pie
It is very rare you come across a good British romantic comedy that isn't written by Richard Curtis, and even some of those have let us down (yes I'm looking at you Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). This is a real surprise, a fun premise, a really strong cast with great chemistry to boot. It's a feel good film in the modern world of dating and we can all relate to that!

Say What?: Lake Bell wrote, directed and starred in her 2013 feature film In a World... that won her best screenplay at Sundance.

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