“You need to man up, Nancy.”
Man Up is the latest picture from Ben Palmer (famous for the obscene UK comedy show Bo! Selecta and teenage bad-boys The Inbetweeners) and tells the story of Jack and Nancy, both unlucky in love until a twist of fate leads them to meet.
The story, while predictable and formulaic, takes the viewer on a whirlwind of a couple of a couple of days and maintains a pace which is necessary to keep the viewer from getting bored with another uninspiring rom-com.
The acting is not breathtaking but adequate; Simon Pegg as Jack is not immediately likable; but his comedic timing keeps his character on track. Lake Bell is charming and it is hard not to feel for her down-trodden Nancy, who is spunky and avoids the tropes of usual romantic comedy characters. However the viewer can’t help but notice the lack of chemistry between the two. Perhaps Pegg is more suited to wacky out- there roles than those as a romantic lead.
In an outstanding performance is Rory Kinnear; who strays from his usual calm and collected characters (most notably, Bill Tanner in the latest Bond series and PM William Callow in Black Mirror) with Sean; a creepy and obsessed school friend of Nancy’s. His portrayal is funny and entertaining and he shines far brighter than the other actors.
The cinematography highlights the best of London with excellent aerial shots and a fun use of a slo-mo shot for Jack’s final pursuit of the film.
At 88 minutes, the film’s length is a plus – it seems like in the past couple of years, cinema has decided to revert back to films pushing three hours. Man Up can fit into the fast paced lifestyle of its target audience.
All in all, Man Up is entertaining and in parts, charming but is forgettable. Would recommend a watch if you need a chuckle and an hour and half escape from daily stress.
Watch the trailer here.