Man Up (2015)

8:37 AM

Right Time, Right Place, Wrong Date
Man Up is directed by Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners) and stars Lake Bell (What Happens in Vegas, No Strings Attached) and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). "A single woman who's mistaken for a stranger's blind date, leads to her finding the perfect boyfriend". Man Up is a British comedy which isn't a genre that is known to produce very good films (see Love, Rosie)...can Man Up be an exception?

I would be lying if I said I wasn't expecting good things from Man Up after I saw the trailer - this probably has to be the first British rom-com or even just British film that I've watched a trailer for and wanted to see without needing any convincing. Even though I am British, unless it is a drama, I don't think British films ever have the charm or greatness of what Hollywood has to offer (I know that may be controversial). Friends have recommended British films like Paddington which I loved and Love, Rosie which I hated so they are always either a hit or a miss. Man Up is a very good film and is my favourite British film of the year so far and may just be my favourite British rom-com (of all time)!

I really like the set up for this film and think that the story is actually quite original for a rom-com. The whole idea that a woman is mistaken as a blind date actually makes a good film. I thought the film also had a nice running length - it was around 80 minutes long which meant it didn't get boring. Man Up didn't really have any twists and turns and was full of cliches but hey, its a rom-com what can you expect? The film is light-hearted and the best feel-good film I have seen in a long time. I really liked the conclusion as well - even though it was predictable - it tied a nice bow on a lovely package. 

The film also has two likeable leads. Lake Bell and Simon Pegg do a fantastic job! It surprised me that the film was from Bell's point of view but I liked it that way. Bell had the most to do in the film and she was charming and fantastic. I would have also never put Simon Pegg down as a rom-com love interest but he was also very good in this movie. The chemistry between the two was very magnetic even though they had only known each other for a day. I think that is what sets this film apart from other rom-coms - its not a 'we're going to be together forever' or 'lets watch the couples whole story' - it is kind of the start and has a very small world - a lot like Antman in comparison to other superhero films. What I will say though about the characters is that no other people really had the likability or charm as the two leads - for example, Sean (Rory Kinnear) was extremely annoying and could have probably made the film better if he wasn't included. 

What I want to talk about next is how well I thought this film portrayed England - it actually made me proud to be British which isn't something I feel 24/7. What I do like about British films is that they don't have the budget to create a fake trainline or a fake restaurant - all of this is real - for example, East Midlands trains and all of the places they visit are definitely what people from England can relate to. 

I really liked the use of music in the film too - this was best used in one of the end scenes which involves Pegg and a group of teenagers - I thought this was done very well and also added to the light-hearted tone of the film. 

Man Up is a really solid film - it is light-hearted, humorous and makes you feel good which in my opinion is what a rom-com should do. It is the first British film in a long time that has impressed me and I'm just really pleased I watched it. The film doesn't create any false portrayals about England and includes likeable leads who put on fantastic performances. Man Up is a real treat - the only thing letting it down is that it doesn't break any boundaries in the genre and felt more like a straight to DVD release rather than a cinema release. 

4 STARS
A-

What did you think of MAN UP? What is your favourite British rom-com? - COMMENT BELOW

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