Man Up takes rom-com up a Pegg

Simon Pegg and Lake Bell.
Simon Pegg and Lake Bell.

“OH no, not another rom-com,” I hear you cringe.

Like the slasher flick, as soon as one of these films starts, you know how it is going to end, so unwilling are they to buck the trend and think outside the box.

While Man Up does not revolutionise the genre, it does more than coast on the appeal of its cast and offers a few on point battle of the sexes showdowns and dating observations.

Goofy and hopelessly single Nancy (Bell) accidentally/on purpose passes herself off as another woman when Jack (Pegg) confuses her for his blind date.

Despite pretending to be a recently scorned triathlete who works in the city, Nancy clicks with Jack, who could be the one for her as they hit the bars, go bowling and get along like a house on fire.

Until the time comes to reveal who she really is.

The script is built on the genre “rules” but what gives Man Up its freshness is the tweak to the structure (this all takes place in one night), the genuinely engaging leads, a witty script and a few tricks up its sleeve (the male lead is actually allowed to be vulnerable).

In its short running time (there is no fat in its merciful 88 minutes), it manages to get under the surface of these characters and give a few belly laughs.

The finale, which we all know is inevitable, is so deliriously over the top that it is easy to enjoy this film.

However, by then it has already won you over as one of the better rom-coms in recent years.

THE ESSENTIALS

Man Up (M)

Directed by: Ben Palmer

Starring: Simon Pegg, Lake Bell, Olivia Williams

Four stars

Review by Julian Wright

In cinemas today