Man Up (2015)

This was a movie I never knew existed until I stumbled upon it in a list of Simon Pegg movies for 2015.  Having no idea what it was about, I had a quick look at the trailer and was intrigued.  A British romantic comedy that isn’t written by Richard Curtis?  What an interesting concept.  I wonder if that would work

So what is our setup here?

Well, familiar territory to begin with, 30 something woman, who has but given up on the world of dating, even though her big sister nags her.  She is heading home to see her parents and on the train is sitting opposite a rather peppy 24 year old who is meeting her blind date at the train station.

They get a talking and it turns out she will know her blind date by taking the same book to the meet.   However, Nancy (played by Lake Bell) gets hold of the book and in a split second pretends to be the blind date when Jack (Simon Pegg) shows up.

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So here we go, mistaken identity, one of the staple ingredients of any good comedy.  The inter play between Nancy and Jack as they spend a day out in London doing various activities is extremely well done, knowing fine well, the deeper they get in, the big reveal is coming to hit hard.

The background characters do a great job of propping this comedy up.  The comedy and dialogue is a lot more adult than you average Curtis storyline, but it works very well.

Though speaking of Curtis, we do have our classic, boy chasing girl with a whole community of people running behind him rooting for him to get the girl.  Cliche yes, but you can forgive it.Simon Pegg does very well in this, showing he really can pull romantic comedy off very well.  Lake Bell, an American (a fact that most of the crew didn’t know until after the movie was shot, as she kept in her English character throughout), isn’t your classic beauty which is what makes this story believable.

After completion, I went to see who was behind this little sleeper of a comedy.  Tess Morris, took the main writing helm here, also wrote the excellent Emma Thompson/Pierce Brosnan outing, The Love Punch.  Obviously young in her career, but if these two are any sign then, we may have our next generation of Mr Curtis.  While no FourWeddings/Notting Hill, it had the same type of wit and subtle situation setups to make it feel natural.

For whatever reason, this movie was not marketed at all, so it will come as no surprise that no one has heard of it, but you can’t use that as an excuse now.  Take it for a run and see what you think..

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Viewing Date
Tuesday, 29th September 2015

Rating
7/10

IMDB YouTubeTrailer