Man Up Blu-ray Review
Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen, but a good romantic comedy is a ridiculously rare occurrence these days and a romantic comedy without any vulgarity or blatant raunchy humor happens even less. That’s why when you stumble across a little gem like MAN UP, you have to appreciate how great it is when simple ingredients can come together to make a genuinely fun and lighthearted film.
Nancy (Lake Bell) is in a romantic rut. She’s become increasingly cynical and has all but given up hope. Due to a series of unlikely circumstances, the hopeless romantic Jack (Simon Pegg) mistakes Nancy for his blind date. Even though Nancy has stolen this blind date and has pretended to be about a decade younger than presumed, she finds herself having a good time with Jack and realizes that there are still decent guys in the world and putting yourself out there can sometimes be worth it.
Although it’s a simple concept and there is nothing super flashy about MAN UP, it’s a surprisingly charming and memorable film. The plot is believable yet a little wacky, making the audience feel the spark and awkwardness between Nancy and Jack and allowing the audience to root for them even though we all know that Nancy’s lies are going to end up blowing up in her face. The chemistry between Simon Pegg and Lake Bell is spot on. They seem to mesh well from the beginning and they end up being a couple that the audience can relate to and will probably want to hang out with. These two actors took their characters and made them likable but with flaws which made them able to connect with the audience.
If there was one annoyance with the film it was the fact that Nancy blew off her prior engagements to go through with this lie. It worked since the audience knew that she was in a bit of a romantic slump and tended to be a loner, but for some reason it was still irksome for her to do something that seemed so out of character. Also, the character of Sean (Rory Kinnear) was a little too over the top and seemed almost too creepy stalker-like for such a lighthearted film. And we may be nitpicking here, but the title “Man Up” is absolutely terrible and makes no sense in the context of the film.
Even with those little complaints, MAN UP is still a cute romantic comedy and one that I would recommend to fans of the genre. There is something so likable about Simon Pegg and he always hits it out of the park, but what was really surprising was how much I enjoyed Lake Bell’s performance as well. She hasn’t been memorable in anything before, but after this film she will definitely be one I keep an eye on in the future. If you are looking for something off the beaten path with fun characters and charming actors, then I would definitely urge you to check out MAN UP.
Video: MAN UP has a little bit of an indie feel to it, so the video transfer reflects that.
Audio: No complaints on the audio.
The Seven Beats of Man Up (40:31): A nice behind-the-scenes, making-of featurette with interesting and fun interviews from the cast and crew.
Gag Reel (6:22): No explanation needed.
Simon and Lake Interview Clips (4:08): Again, no explanation needed.