Something that 2015 hasn’t seen a lot of so far is the romantic comedy genre, I’m not complaining though as this wouldn’t be anywhere near being a favourite genre for me. Usually I would reluctantly drag myself to the cinema to watch them just for the sake of reviewing them however I was much more willing to watch Man Up, it’s got Simon Pegg in it.
Okay lets start with the inevitable negatives about this rom-com. Unfortunately there are some pacing issues with the film, this is almost entirely a result of its premise though. As Man Up is nearly completely set in one single night I felt at times that it was struggling to progress or move on with the story. Alongside this the film does get bogged down by its more emotional moments however, I think this is just an element of the genre which I will have to learn to live with as I always seem to find an issue with it. There is also one character, Sean played by Rory Kinnear who whilst definitely injecting some humour into the film wasn’t entirely believable meaning that I did begin to question the story. Apart from this though Man Up is actually really enjoyable.
Both of the main characters Jack (Simon Pegg) and Nancy (Lake Bell) are really likeable which makes a nice change from the usual irritating main characters this genre almost always produces. They are both played brilliantly by their respective actor and actress and are both brilliantly comedic. They also display their acting ability in some of the more emotional moments. Man Up fares well with the ‘com’ side of things too though, sporting some very funny dialogue and some amusing moments. The film never becomes outrageously funny but you will chuckle throughout and the laughs come from a variety of characters and moments which was good to see, as it meant this rom-com didn’t have to rely on the usual token funny character for all of the laughs. The film also references and gives a few nods to a classic thriller from film history which was really enjoyable, any film that uses popular culture will usually appeal to me and Man Up was no different. A final positive is that at under ninety minutes the film is refreshingly short so never over stays its welcome!
Man Up didn’t feel like a rom-com as we have come to know them, it got rid of most of the things that are so bad about the genre and focused on the elements which actually make for a good film. With two very talented actors heading up the film playing two well written characters Man Up has restored my faith in the genre and has shown me that I can enjoy films like this. Funny, charming and succinct Man Up is the perfect movie for date night!
Rating – 7.5/10