In a nutshell: Nancy and Jack go on a date by mistake, leading to a night neither of them will forget.
Man Up was great. Funny and fast-moving, it was a love-letter to the British dating scene, in all its toe-clenchingly awkward glory. Nancy – a 30-something cynic who hasn’t had a relationship in four years – inadvertently ends up being mistaken by Jack as his blind date for the night. Instead of correcting him, she plays along with it, merrily pretending to be the 24-year-old triathlete City worked his friend has set him up with. Still with me…?
Lake Bell is spot-on as whip-smart, wise-cracking Nancy, whilst Simon Pegg captures the man-bag toting, freshly-divorced and oh-so insecure Jack spot-on. Together, they’re ying and yang: so different they can only – according to the laws of film, at least – be perfectly matched for each other.
The film is sweet – entertaining, intelligent and all about taking chances (an attitude which stands in stark contrast to the rule-led relationship advice that self-help guides such as the one Jack and his blind date originally agreed to recognise each other by offer). It’s refreshingly honest – apart from its depiction of Nancy’s hair, which remains coolly tousled throughout, despite being trapped beneath a bobble hat for over half of the screen time.
The supporting cast is a cool Britannia round-up of familiar faces: think Sharon Horgan, Ken Stott, Olivia Williams, Harriet Walter… And Rory Kinnear in a role so amusingly creepy you’ll never be able to look at chocolate mousse in the same way again.
It’s a fun movie from start to finish, my only gripe being that it was so hard to actually see – my local cinema refused to show it as it wasn’t as ‘big’ as some of the other promised block-busters that were coming out at the same time. Trailer below!