Country: UK / France
Movie Review: “Man Up”, Ben Palmer’s second comedy in four years after the humdrum “The Inbetweeners Movie”, starts feverishly interesting but eventually decreases in quality in the second half where the clichés and fabricated romantic situations take hold of the screwball scenario set in the modern London. The charismatic Lake Bell (“In a World…”) plays the unmarried 34-year-old Nancy, whose first appearance is in front of a hotel room’s mirror, talking to herself while trying to gain sufficient confidence to participate in her friends' themed wedding party. Even fed up of dating and having no high expectations on love, Nancy will become the protagonist of a mind-boggling situation when she mistakenly goes on a blind date with Jack, played by the great Simon Pegg (“Hot Fuzz”, “Shaun of the Dead”), an online marketing manager who’s about to divorce his wife. Nancy was simply taken by the odd circumstances of being in a train station, at the right time, with the book ‘Six billion people and you’ in her hand, the same book that Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond), the one Jack was initially to meet with, was supposed to carry to signalize her presence. Nancy decides to miss her family party, and totally embraces this unanticipated opportunity. Despite the mention of a huge jalapeño between her teeth, the couple has lots of fun and the conversation flows without embarrassments, only until Nancy bumps into Shaun (Rory Kinnear), a disturbing old school friend who happens to be the barman at the bowling pub where they were playing. Shaun demands to Nancy nothing else but a blowjob not to reveal her secret to Jack, who gets really upset when he finds them in the restroom. The truth is unveiled not without the indispensable arguments, and the things only calm down again when they decide to have a drink at the bar where Jack’s wife usually pops up. The film’s pose oscillates between casual and sassy while the dialogue, often peppered with unsuccessful sex jokes, was never too creative or smart to cheer me up. Unfortunately, the actors’ efforts weren’t enough to make us forget the constant ups and downs of Tess Morris’ screenwriting, which reaches its weaker point with the weary, ridiculous finale.