Film & TV

Film Review: Man Up

A 34 year old, single, fed up woman is mistaken by a 40 year old divorcee as his blind date. With uncharacteristic optimism, she decides to just go with it…

The fabulous Simon Pegg plays 40 year old, still-bitter divorcee, Jack, in this very British rom-com. Playing opposite him, as the cynical, slightly kooky Nancy, is American actress Lake Bell. I find Bell an unfailingly watchable actress, and she did not disappoint. Pegg and Bell worked beautifully together in balancing the humour and the romance. Some rom-coms are either too rom, or too com. This one hits the mark perfectly.

Making an hysterically funny appearance as Sean, Nancy’s long-term stalker, was Rory Kinnear, looking scarily like his father, the late Roy Kinnear.

Tess Morris’ screenplay is fast, sharp, full of vulgar humour, and gently romantic where it needs to be. She has avoided the trap of making Nancy into a dickhead, or Jack into a stumbling ponce. Even Sean, although undoubtedly creepy, is humorous and quirkily likeable.

Ben Palmer, of The Inbetweeners fame, directs with a gentle hand, allowing the fine cast to do what they do best, without too much interruption.

Just to add to the joy, the soundtrack is punchy and enjoyable, with lots of recognisable tunes.

This is an unashamed, simple, tightly done, romantic comedy. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else, going full-pelt into the genre, with grace and charm.

A winner.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

Rating out of 10:  9

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