Grow a back bone,
Develop some balls
Or just simply man up.
Whichever phrase you choose to describe meeting your fate it is something we all have to hear sometimes.
In Man Up, the new Brit romantic comedy, Lake Bell stars as a single thirty something who takes a chance on love and steals a blind date in the process. Gone are the huge romantic gestures and perfectly rhythmic soliloquy are replaced by this cute, grounded and entertaining tale of two people looking for the one. Man Up demonstrates how to go after what you want with some gusto. Starring Brit favourite Simon Pegg and American Bell, sporting a very impressive English accent. Prepare for the coming of the modern day romance, which still sweeps you off your feet.
Directed by Ben Palmer whose previous works include Bo’Selecta!, The Inbetweeners and The Inbetweeners Movie, this romantic comedy may be new terrain for Palmer. But he is able to mix his goof ball humour with a sweet, romantic premise with the help of Tess Morris’ script.
As stated, this is a very modern romantic comedy. When two quirky, unconventional leads come together through a down right lie, hilarity and sweetness ensues. Instead of going the complete opposite way from tradition, the film and story walk the line between cute and pessimistic, working on multiple levels. For those who like their classic British rom-coms, this is still cute enough with strong on screen heat to keep you satisfied. Yet the awkward start and bizarre scenario makes this a more grounded story.
Lake Bell is immediately likeable as the films awkward lead Nancy. Her English accent and loutish feel are perfect, creating a character that everyone can in some ways relate to. Nancy is almost a new take on Bridget Jones but less motivated to peruse romance and life, (and a size ten).
Simon Pegg may be the least likely male romantic lead and heart throb yet this role only adds to his on screen romantic charm. By mixing his brilliant comic timing and great on screen chemistry, it is easy to see why we all secretly crush on him. Jack is the all-round charming nerd yet his funny exterior and motivation for his original blind date, (with a twenty four year old Victoria) hides a hurtful past.
It may be a biased coming from a born a breed Londoner but another strength of the film is in its great showcase of the capital in the story. From the pairs first meeting in Waterloo Station, their romantic walk along the South Bank to a dizzy run around the streets of Soho, it really feels like a home grown film in its choice of settings.
The film aims to ram home the take risks and be brave tag line which does not really hit an emotional chord but this does not detract from the sheer fun that Man Up delivers in full. An assured romantic comedy; it may not deliver the emotion punch it aims for but this is more than worth the watch. Even if it is just to increase your guilty Simon Pegg crush.