Nancy (Lake Bell) decides to seize an opportunity when she mistakenly goes on someone else’s blind date. Pretending to be a different woman, Nancy finds that she is getting on famously with Jack (Simon Pegg) and that they have a real romantic connection. But how can she possibly tell him that she’s not his actual date?
Writer Tess Morris and director Ben Palmer have crafted a wonderful movie that pays homage to the classic rom-coms of the past whilst laying down a fresh and very engaging premise that’s hard not to fall in love with. Whip-smart, warm and laugh-out-loud funny, Man Up is the best rom-com we’ve had in years.
A genre comedy like this needs a cast that you can get behind and Man Up has a truly great ensemble. Simon Pegg hands in his best performance for quite some time whilst the gorgeous Lake Bell continues to personify everything that’s right in Hollywood today. Their chemistry pops onscreen and Bell’s English accent is the best you’ll hear all year.
Traditionally, the supporting cast of any good rom-com will always leave a delectable mark on the movie. This is definitely the case here with Ophelia Lovibond stealing her scenes as Jessica, the girl on the train. Kudos to Tess Morris for not making her character a typical cliché. Rory Kinnear is on solid comedic form as the frustratingly lecherous Sean and Sharon Horgan is always a joy to see onscreen, this time playing Nancy’s worried sister.
All of the great British rom-coms from the past have known how to utilise their locations to maximum effect and thankfully this trend follows here. London is a glorious shining star of Man Up and gives the film a wonderfully warm ambience. Familiar sights like Waterloo Station, The Southbank and Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes are paired with other locations that really bring out London’s iconic style, whilst also serving the storyline to good effect.
Man Up is a wonderful rom-com that reignites London’s love affair with the genre. It’s smart, funny and very relatable with just the right balance of comedy and romance. Full of hilarious performances and a sharp script, this is one date movie that will stand the test of time with Lake Bell and Simon Pegg on truly charismatic form.