In the days of social media, Tinder and online dating it’s pretty much impossible to have a truly ‘blind date’ anymore. However, new rom-com Man Up has found a way with a simple case of mistaken identity.
When Jack, played affectionately by Simon Pegg, mistakes Nancy, the ridiculously likeable Lake Bell, for his blind date a night of fun, laughter, tears and more tears ensues.
Jack and Nancy head off on a date that sees a relationship go from awkward conversations, strange reunions, drunken flirtations and ex-wife one-upmanship all in one crazy night.
Both characters have had their share of heartbreak, but the minute they are together you just want them to be, well… together. Lake as Nancy is wonderfully unglamorous, and a great representation of any women single in her thirties who’s just happy in her favourite comfy skinny jeans. Pegg as Jack appears on the surface to be a well put together London gent who’s newly divorced, but he’s fine, really he’s fine!
Lake nails that tricky natural London accent, as fellow American Renée Zellweger did before her. This is not Bridget Jones though, it’s a much cleaner affair of two souls meeting at the right time, just on the wrong date.
The script is wonderfully real from the nervous first meeting rambles to the later more drunken honesty. Obviously with comedy pedigree like Pegg, and The Inbetweeners Movie director Ben Palmer, there was gonna be some laughs. Both leading man and leading lady get their time to be both vulnerable and hilarious and if they don’t fall in love with each other you certainly will!
Man Up is a real rom-com for real people. In the simplest terms, this is a lovely reflection on modern love in a less than perfect dating world. Cute, honest and hilarious, Pegg and Bell are a perfect match.
Man Up is in NZ Cinemas from 18 June.
Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar