Man Up (film)
|Directed by||Ben Palmer|
|Written by||Tess Morris|
|Edited by||Paul Machliss|
|Music by||Dickon Hinchliffe|
|Box office||$3 million|
Man Up is a 2015 romantic comedy film directed by Ben Palmer and written by Tess Morris. It stars Lake Bell and Simon Pegg. The film follows a 34-year old single woman who is mistaken for a stranger's blind date and finds the perfect man for her in a 40-year old divorcé. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 29 May 2015. It received positive reviews from critics.
Nancy is a 34-year old journalist who has been dating unsuccessfully for the past four years. Her sister encourages her to keep putting herself out there. Nancy goes to her friend's engagement party and has an awkward blind date. She then travels to London to attend her parents' 40th anniversary celebration. On the train, she sits across from Jessica, a bubbly younger woman who is going on a blind date based on a book called Six Billion People and You. While talking to Jessica, Nancy expresses her pessimism about life and love. Jessica walks off the train at London Waterloo station, leaving her book behind. Nancy pursues Jessica to return it but is stopped by Jack, Jessica's blind date. Jack thinks Nancy is Jessica because of the book. Before Nancy can explain the situation, Jack charms her with his rambling introduction. She impulsively pretends to be Jessica.
Despite the fact that Nancy is not who she says she is, the two hit it off immediately. They talk and get to know each other, and Nancy learns that Jack is a 40-year old divorced man who is an online marketing manager. They have a good time while drinking and bowling. Then, Nancy runs into her secondary school classmate and stalker, Sean, who works at the bowling alley. He finds out about Nancy's deception and tries to blackmail her into kissing him in a bathroom stall. The two are caught in a compromising position by Jack, and Nancy admits that she is not actually his date. Jack and Nancy get into an argument, criticising each other's opinions and life choices.
After realising that they have lost Jack's bag and Nancy's notebook, they both race back to the bar. There, they meet Ed and Hilary, Jack's soon-to-be-ex-wife. Trying to irritate Hilary, Jack pretends that Nancy is his girlfriend, and Nancy goes along with it. She learns that Ed and Hilary had an affair, which led to the divorce. Jack gets upset and goes to a bathroom stall. Nancy joins him, and he tearfully admits that he has not recovered from his failed marriage. Nancy says that her own bad relationship history has made her bitter. She consoles Jack and says that he will eventually be all right. They go back to the bar, and Nancy sets Ed on fire before spraying Ed and Hilary with a fire extinguisher, to Jack's delight.
Nancy decides to go to her parents' anniversary party, which is already underway. She is about to invite Jack, but he learns that Jessica still wants to meet him, so they part ways. Nancy arrives at her parents' party but is sad about leaving Jack. During his date with Jessica, Jack finds that they do not have much in common, and he realises that leaving Nancy was a mistake. With Jessica's blessing, he goes to find Nancy. He enlists the help of Sean, but Sean sends Jack to the wrong address and goes to try his luck with Nancy himself, to no avail. Jack ends up at a party of teenagers, but one of the teenagers knows where Nancy's parents live. At the anniversary party, Nancy gives a speech about how her date with Jack changed her for the better. Then, Jack arrives. He tells Nancy that he wants to be with her, and they kiss.
- Lake Bell as Nancy
- Simon Pegg as Jack
- Rory Kinnear as Sean
- Ken Stott as Bert
- Harriet Walter as Fran
- Sharon Horgan as Elaine
- Ophelia Lovibond as Jessica
- Olivia Williams as Hilary
- Stephen Campbell Moore as Ed
- Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Daniel
- Dean-Charles Chapman as Harry
- Robert Wilfort as Ryan
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Katie
- Paul Thornley as Adam
In June 2013, it was announced Simon Pegg had joined the Big Talk production, co-starring as the romantic interest. On 19 November 2013 Lake Bell joined the cast as the film's lead, with The Inbetweeners director Ben Palmer set to direct. The film received funding from BBC Films, with Anton Capital Entertainment and Amazon Prime Instant Video joining as minor production partners. StudioCanal distributed the film.
Release and reception
Man Up premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on 19 April 2015 and was released theatrically in the United Kingdom on 29 May 2015 by StudioCanal. The film was released in the United States by Saban Films on 13 November 2015. It grossed $3 million worldwide.
The film received positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 80% "Certified Fresh" rating based on 80 reviews, with an average rating of 6.25/10. The site's consensus states: "Thanks to fine performances from Lake Bell and Simon Pegg, Man Up largely strikes the deceptively difficult balance between romance and comedy." On Metacritic, the film holds a 69 out of 100 rating, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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- Yamato, Jen (19 November 2013). "Lake Bell To Star In Rom-Com Man Up Opposite Simon Pegg; Inbetweeners Ben Palmer To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "Simon Pegg To Star In Brit List Romantic Comedy Man Up". IndieWire. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Kemp, Stuart (21 January 2014). "Olivia Williams, Rory Kinnear, Stephen Campbell Moore Join British Rom-Com Man Up". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Wiseman, Andreas (20 January 2014). "Big Talk's Man Up underway". Screen Daily. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "Man Up production has begun in London with Simon Pegg and Lake Bell". Film3Sixty Magazine. 21 January 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "Man Up (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
- "Man Up". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 June 2021.