Brits say time to Man Up on love

Kapi-Mana News - - MOVIES -

MAN UP

Star­ring: Si­mon Pegg, Lake Bell, Olivia Wil­liams, Ken Stott Di­rected by Ben Palmer. Writ­ten by Tess Mor­ris. Rom-com. 1hr 28min. M for of­fen­sive lan­guage and sex­ual ref­er­ences. Now play­ing at Light­house Cine­mas.

At the heart of any good rom-com is the charm­ing fan­tasy that even the most in­cred­i­ble losers can find love ev­er­last­ing.

The Brits seems to grasp that most ably, im­bu­ing their ro­man­tic leads with enough hum­ble bum­ble and awk­ward grace to make them sym­pa­thetic and be­liev­able – think Colin Firth in Love Ac­tu­ally, or Hugh Grant in Not­ting Hill.

Join­ing that duo of lovely losers is for­mer scion of sci-fi and com­edy Si­mon Pegg ( Star Trek, Paul), the adorable co-star of Man Up.

Pegg plays the craggy- faced

Man Up

Jack, a sad-sack di­vorcee who’s never got over his one true mar­riage, or the af­fair that brought its demise.

He’s the un­likely love in­ter­est of Nancy (US star Lake Bell), slightly less be­liev­able as a ro­man­tic loser through be­ing in­sanely at­trac­tive, though no less adorably dorky.

Nancy, 30- plus and sin­gle (Rom-com-ese for Ro­man­tic Dis­as­ter Area), has never found her one true love, and now she’s too dis­heart­ened to try.

By chance she meets bub­bly 20- some­thing Jes­sica ( Ophe­lia Lovi­bond), who’s on her way to a blind date, alive with hope and op­ti­mism in a way cyn­i­cal Nancy can never be.

When Jes­sica forces Nancy to take a copy of the ob­nox­ious self­help book she and her blind date were to use to recog­nise each other, a com­edy of er­rors leads Nancy to meet the blind date in­stead, and fi­nally take a chance on ro­mance.

Yes, it’s con­trived, and some of the jokes are forced, but there’s some­thing lovely at the core of Man Up that can’t be de­nied.

Maybe it’s the cozy at­mos­phere of the Bri­tish set­ting – lots of the scenes are shot on Lon­don’s South Bank and in Soho – or the fact that for­mer model Lake Bell plays a sur­pris­ingly be­liev­able loser, but Man Up works.

It’s not par­tic­u­larly ground­break­ing – the film’s main theme is com­mon to a lot of rom-coms: don’t lose hope, take a chance and make true love hap­pen – but, it’s de­liv­ered in a par­tic­u­larly charm­ing form.

With Pegg in the front­line, Man Up is heavy on the com in the rom-com for­mula.

There’s one scene that will have folks of a cer­tain age (ie, over 40) cry­ing with laugh­ter – let’s just say, our Du­ran Du­ran se­cret is out, and there’s noth­ing we can do about it.

It’s ac­tu­ally Bell, with an adopted Bri­tish ac­cent that is Meryl Streep flaw­less, who takes the com­edy cake here, com­bin­ing an awk­ward phys­i­cal­ity with cringe­wor­thy one-lin­ers.

They make a charm­ing pair, Jack and Nancy, and their fum­bling at­tempts to con­nect, will have you cast­ing off your own cyn­i­cism to man up and take a chance on love.

Could he be the one? Lake Bell and Si­mon Pegg ask the ul­ti­mate ro­man­tic ques­tion in Bri­tish rom-com

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