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Man Up: An Unabashed Romantic Comedy That is Lots of Fun

April 30, 2016

Man Up

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Man Up relishes in the fact that it follows every romantic comedy trope. It is an unabashed love story that features mistaken identity, the obligatory fight and eventual soppy reunion. However, it is loads of fun, and stars Lake Bell and Simon Pegg have a solid chemistry that keeps the movie afloat. The 81% on Rotten Tomatoes is earned because the movie does exactly what it planned on doing. It takes a familiar genre and has fun with it. I respect any movie that delivers what the trailer promised.

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Man Up focuses on a cynical and single 30-something-year-old woman named (Nancy) taking another woman’s place on a blind date. Her blind date is a 43-year-old man named Jack (Simon Pegg) who is a recently-divorced and thinks he is meeting a 23-year-old woman who enjoys the same self-help books that he loves. Nancy goes along with the mistaken identity, and the two hit it off over Silence of the Lambs references and lots of drinking. During the course of the single night we meet Jack’s ex-wife, Nancy’s family and a really weird dude named Sean (Rory Kinnear – having a lot of fun). From there, the truth is discovered and the two wing one-liners at each other other until they eventually reconcile in the most romcom way imaginable.

Man Up Simon Pegg

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I’ve always been a fan of Lake Bell because she isn’t afraid to go for it and create some really weird and endearing characters. She gets all the best lines in Man Up and her British accent is spot-on.  I really liked her directorial debut In a World and thought she was the best part of No Strings Attached. In Man Up she is on one who needs to “man up”  and she sells every line and earnest moment. She needs more work.

Man Up never swings for the fences and that is perfectly fine. It doesn’t try to be an instant classic and instead just wants to put a smile on your face. Director Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners) is a master of taking stock genres (romcom, teenage raunch) and making them much better than they have any right to be.  Man Up is 100% unpretentious and that allows everyone to enjoy the ride.

Check out Man Up. Have some fun.

 

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