Directed by Ben Palmer
A 34 year old single woman, Nancy, hung-over again, exhausted by the endless fruitless set ups by her friends, traveling across London to toast another 10 years of her parent's successful happy magical marriage runs in with a 40 year old divorcee, Jack, who mistakes her for his 24 year old blind date. Nancy, deciding to go with it, happens to hop on the most chaotic yet hilarious journey of her life which neither of them will ever forget.
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★★★½ review by Robby Warren on Letterboxd
An absolutely delightful romantic comedy that features two very likable leads with great chemistry. It falls into some of the usual traps most romantic movies do but I still had a great time with this one and I highly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you're a fan of Simon Pegg and/or Lake Bell. Very strong 3.5/5.
★★★★ review by Travis Lytle on Letterboxd
A bristly, romantic delight, Ben Palmer's "Man Up" is a smart, energetic and completely engaging comedy. Starring Simon Pegg and Lake Bell as an accidental couple pairing is clearly not written in the stars, the film combines a potent mix of uptempo comedy, recognizable heart, melancholy truths. It is a surprisingly effective addition to the rom-com canon.
Palmer's film tells the story of Nancy and Jack, a couple whose meet-cute is based in mistaken identity. When Nancy allows Jack to think she is his bind date, the two begin a comic adventure that involves impending divorce, 40-year anniversaries, and Duran Duran's "The Reflex."
The plot follows a standard romantic comedy formula, but it is buoyed by such engaging and nearly genuine characters that the film is instantly inviting. These are characters worth investing in, imperfect, fun, and naturally attractive. They are not polished; they feel real, friendly, and amusing.
Pegg and Bell are fittingly cast, and Palmer makes the most of their lived-in charisma. The director keeps his focus on the mirth but, satisfyingly, allows notes of melancholy and hurt to deepen the experience. Mixing upbeat energy and tangible feelings, Palmer ensures the film exhibits a textured, substantial sensibilities.
"Man Up" is a charmer. Appealingly cast and told, the film moves beyond typical rom-com plot beats and pithy posturing to become something more impressive. It is a stand-out experience and a fun and fully felt piece of work
★★★½ review by 🎈 Shay 🎈 on Letterboxd
This starts out delightfully and then from like minute 15 to minute 35 you're like "Ugh, this movie," but then it becomes pretty delightful again. Lake Bell wears the British accent very well.
And I also very much appreciate the product placement of Moleskine notebooks. Keep being awesome, Moleskine notebooks.
★★★★ review by Caty Alexandre on Letterboxd
Simon Pegg + Lake Bell = the perfect chemistry! Such a predictable story but such a delightful one.
★★★★ review by Raul Marques on Letterboxd
Lovely, lovely stuff. There's really three movies in one here, a full-blown old-school rom com, with all the tropes of the genre you could possibly think of, a far-fetched chain of events comedy, kind of similar to "Date Night", and, finally, a smarter more mature grounded-in-reality one. The first and the latter work amazingly, the other one not so much. Bell and Pegg are incredible as the two leads, they absolutely nail the awkward, but never cringy, chemistry between the characters. Writing, as the whole picture actually, greatly walk the line within the rubbish cheesy lines and the genuinely heartwarming and funny ones.
The segment at the Bowling alley and the Future-Islands'-vocalist creep are certainly the weaker elements, but nothing that another minute of all the other ultra-likable can't fix it. Soundtrack is also pretty good, including an awesome, although not Ex-Machina-awesome, dance sequence. Nothing says more about this feature, than how the manage to pull off both a majestic power-ballad-themed scene, only to do competently do a Coldplay-ish one right after.
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