Man Up (2015)

Man Up (film) poster.jpg
A Blind Date gone wrong

Director: Ben Palmer
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Starring: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Rory Kinnear, Ken Stott

After his directorial debut on The Inbetweeners Movie, Ben Palmers takes on a typical romantic-comedy for his sophomore film.

Nancy (Lake Bell), a single woman with a cynical view on love, is mistaken for the blind date of Jack (Simon Pegg), a stranger she randomly meets. Unsurprisingly, this leads to misunderstandings, deceit and awkward moments, all while the two end up having a wonderful time.

The lions share of the problems come from the first act. As we're introduced to Nancy and the films scenario, Ben Palmer's chooses to focus on as much awkwardness as possible. This leaves things uncomfortable to watch, which isn't the best first impression to make.

Fortunately, Nancy's deception is brought to light earlier than expected. Once Jack knows the truth, things pick up quite a bit, as a race back to an earlier locale and a convenient encounter brings the promise of entertainment. Tess Morris' script proves to be a boon, adding humorous lines such as a theory named the "Blowjob Paradox". The final act wraps things up in a neat bow, doing so by reverting to cliché material, led by questionable actions and convenience.

"Yes I've seen Shaun of the Dead,
and I don't see the resemblance"

Lake Bell and Simon Pegg each bring a likeable presence to their roles, managing to be delightful on their own while working well off each other. Rory Kinnear plays support as a face from Nancy's past, being madly in love with her for no given reason. His character is a conundrum, serving little purpose than as a plot device, while acting perverted and stalkerish to cartoonish extremes. The strangest thing is how nobody worries over this behaviour, least of all Nancy, as everyone seems to accepts his behaviour as completely normal.

Ben Palmer's second feature film is uneven, but gets by on an entertaining second act and a likeable lead duo.