Rom-com for­mula goes up a Pegg or two

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

“OH no, not an­other rom-com,” I hear you cringe.

Like the slasher flick, as soon as one of th­ese films starts, you know how it is go­ing to end, so un­will­ing are they to buck the trend and think out­side the box.

While Man Up does not rev­o­lu­tionise the genre, it does more than coast on the ap­peal of its cast and of­fers a few on-point, bat­tle-of-the-sexes show­downs and dat­ing ob­ser­va­tions.

Goofy and hope­lessly sin­gle Nancy (Bell) ac­ci­den­tally/on pur­pose passes her­self off as an­other woman when Jack (Pegg) con­fuses her for his blind date.

De­spite pre­tend­ing to be a re­cently scorned triath­lete who works in the city, Nancy clicks with Jack, who could be the one for her as they hit the bars, go bowl­ing and get along like a house on fire.

Un­til the time comes to re­veal who she re­ally is.

The script is built on the genre ‘rules’ but what gives Man Up its fresh­ness is the tweak to the struc­ture (this all takes place in one night), the gen­uinely en­gag­ing leads, a witty script and a few tricks up its sleeve (the male lead is ac­tu­ally al­lowed to be vul­ner­a­ble).

In its short run­ning time (there is no fat in its mer­ci­ful 88 min­utes), it man­ages to get un­der the sur­face of th­ese char­ac­ters and give a few belly laughs.

The fi­nale, which we all know is in­evitable, is so deliri­ously over the top that it is easy to en­joy this film.

How­ever, by then it has al­ready won you over as one of the bet­ter rom-coms in re­cent years.

Si­mon Pegg and Lake Bell.

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