MAN UP

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

Di­rec­tor: Ben Palmer (The In­be­tween­ers Movie) Star­ring: Lake Bell, Si­mon Pegg, Olivia Wil­liams, Sharon Hor­gan, Rory Kin­n­ear Ver­dict: Can the truth hurt when the lie is so much fun?

THIS very en­joy­able Bri­tish rom-com racks up more than enough laughs when it truly must.

The com­i­cally con­tra­dic­tory hero­ine is Nancy (Lake Bell), a self-pro­fessed loser in love who can’t quite be­lieve she has fi­nally met her win­ning match.

Of course, be­ing a rom-com, there just has to be a catch. Nancy has se­cured her per­fect night out with Mr Right in a wor­ry­ingly wrong way.

Jack (Si­mon Pegg) thinks he is out on a blind date with some­one called Jes­sica. She’s sup­posed to be 24, an as­pir­ing en­trepreneur and proven triath­lete.

Nancy is 10 years older, a wash-up at work, and some­thing of a slob. How­ever, she and Jack are get­ting along like a house on fire within min­utes of their mis­taken-iden­tity meet­ing.

Should Nancy tell the truth, or go with the flow? Well, as it turns out, the quasi-cou­ple’s hopes of a hap­pen­ing re­la­tion­ship won’t to­tally rest on what­ever choice Nancy makes.

Jack has a few se­cret blem­ishes of his own on his seem­ingly per­fect track record. Per­haps the most press­ing of th­ese is the fact he only di­vorced his wife (Olivia Wil­liams) a few hours ago. And she will be walk­ing into the bar where he and Nancy are hav­ing a drink any minute now.

The com­pressed time frame in which Man Up takes place – the en­tire movie cov­ers just a straight 24-hour pe­riod in Nancy’s cyn­i­cally sin­gle life – gives the movie a spark that car­ries it a long way.

The many jokes that draw the louder laughs through­out a witty and fast-paced script are con­sis­tently told from a woman’s per­spec­tive. In this re­gard, Bell’s ir­re­sistible an­chor­ing per­for­mance is more of a tri­umph than it first ap­pears to be. And it’s down­right re­fresh­ing as well.

As for Pegg – who has been out of form for quite some time now – he flour­ishes by virtue of his en­dear­ing chem­istry with his Amer­i­can lead­ing lady (whose Bri­tish ac­cent is flaw­less).

Best of all, the movie doesn’t feel the need to curl up into a fluffy ball, and sud­denly make cute like a Hol­ly­wood-made chick flick to at least win over the ladies in the au­di­ence.

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