Lake Bell is a socially awkward 34 year old single woman, who has gone through life not putting herself out there and just not being especially outgoing. However when she gets mistaken for Simon Pegg’s blind date she just rolls with it, because what’s the worst that can happen? On the day of her parent’s 40th wedding anniversary party, with a man who has only just filled out his divorce papers.
Now what Man Up essentially is, is an exercise into the question of whether you can make a film purely based on two people’s chemistry. You can. Lake Bell and Simon Pegg go together beautifully. So much so in fact, that when you don’t have both of them on screen at the same time, the film does seem to sag ever so slightly. Although the supporting cast are certainly no slouches including the likes of Rory Kinnear, Olivia Williams, Sharon Horgan, Ken Stott and Harriet Walter.
Admittedly the film does follow a fairly well trodden narrative path, but it knows that and embraces it. And if you do the same you will massively enjoy this film. Yes it’s a story you know, but I’ll wager you have never seen it delivered quite this well before. Man Up is a rom com that delivers rom and com in spades. And realistically what more could you want?
It’s also pleasing that Simon Pegg is actually good in a film not directed by Edgar Wright, because if you look at his actual back catalogue it’s pretty damn ropey. Whereas Lake Bell is just further adding to her position as one of the funniest actor around right now.
Overall, if you are watching Man Up it’s because you want a film with comedy and romance. Sure that’s all you get, but can you really be disappointed with that from a rom com? I don’t think so.