ByJames Porter, writer at
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James Porter

A single woman whose given up on relationships has a second thought when she is mistaken for a stranger's blind date, baffled by the man's confidence she goes along with it but when she thinks she might actually like this man, she reveals the truth and it goes horribly.

Lake Bell stars as Nancy, a rather cynical woman whose not had the best of time when it comes to relationships. Through a matter of coincidence she meets Jack played by Simon Pegg, a man who mistakes Nancy for his blind date. The two really hit it off and have a great day together but as happens in Romantic Comedies, trouble arises and the new found relationship is really put to the test.

The real reason to go and see Man Up is the fantastic chemistry between Simon Pegg (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and Lake Bell (Million Dollar Arm). The two have an excellent back and forth with each other and use the script to its full potential. The film really nails the awkwardness of a blind date and the dialogue feels very real for the first half, then some Rom-Com cliches get thrown in along with a completely out of place character and after a while it all becomes a little bit cartoonish.

The out of place character I refer to above is played by Rory Kinear (Skyfall) who gives a ridiculously over the top and irritating performance that feels completely out of place. As soon as his character is introduced the film really starts to go down hill. He plays Sean, a man who was enamored with Nancy in High School and threatens to unveil her secret to Jack if she doesn't succumb to his demands. From this point on the film goes down a very cliche and silly path, but there is still Bell and Pegg acting as a bright spark in what becomes a rather lame movie.

In a summer filled with superheroes, talking robots and giant earthquakes, Man Up might be one of the most unrealistic films I've seen so far in 2015.

The two actors feel far too good for this comedy. Bell is awkward, intelligent and goofy and pulls off a British accent far better than any American I've ever seen. Pegg plays Jack as an everyday guy with a lot of underlying sadness, he's recently come out of a marriage which factors later on in the plot.

In the second half of the film, it really loses itself. Characters begin to do things that don't make sense to who they are, some characters are unbearable and there's perhaps one too many things going on at once. The blind date story is accompanied with Jack's divorce, Nancy's parents anniversary and Rory Kinear's sick and deranged character complicating the day for the couple.

A decent rom-com is hard to come across in today's Blockbuster obsessed world and sadly Man Up doesn't reach the heights of a When Harry Met Sally or (500) Days Of Summer, but the two lead performances elevate this fundamentally silly and unrealistic film and make it somewhat entertaining.


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