When Nancy (Lake Bell) – a thirty-something year old woman exhausted by the endless amount of unsuccessful dates that have been thrown her way – decides to finally take things into her own hands, she ends up taking the place of a stranger’s scheduled blind date and ultimately meets a man that ends up changing her outlook on the dating world. A British-based, feel good flick, that isn’t the worst option if you’re hoping to kill some time on a lazy afternoon.
Director: Ben Palmer
Writers: Tess Morris
Starring: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Rory Kinnear
It’s not too often that I get the opportunity to sit back and try to enjoy a romantic comedy, but the time came this past weekend when I settled down to watch Man Up. Surprisingly, I found it to be a rather witty and easily watchable movie with a good cast thrown in too. It has to be said however, there’s certainly a few clichés thrown in there, a prime example being the “old school friend” that used to be obsessed with one of the main characters and finds himself at the front of many of the scenes throughout. There’s also the traditional “will they, won’t they” conundrum regarding whether the two lead characters will end up together, but all in all, Man Up is a pretty solid comedy if you base it purely on its merits.
Like many movies of this nature, there are definitely some awkward and cringey parts, but the majority of the humour seems to be pretty laid back and you find yourself smiling at most of what happens and at the experiences the characters have. It’s probably worth noting too that there’s one or two genuinely laugh out loud moments too which really help the movie from a comedy aspect.
Outside of the comedy landscape, the film is shot pretty well with an authentic and real look at London as a city, with several of the scenes taking place on its busy and bustling streets, within bowling venues, inside quaint bars or even by portable street stalls.
In terms of the performances, sometimes you forget just how good of an actor and how legitimately funny Simon Pegg is and when adopting the role of Jack, he demonstrated just how great he can be in films like this. Nancy was portrayed by Lake Bell and she did a splendid job too – the pair had great on-screen chemistry and made the film easily watchable during the entire eighty-eight-minute runtime.
All in all, a good light-hearted and at times funny movie which showcases London well, not forgetting the fact that is most certainly has some pretty likeable characters too.
“I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not really your blind date, Jack.”Nancy – Man Up