Star –Lake Bell & Simon Pegg
Genre – Romantic Comedy
Run Time – 88 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – U.K
Awards – 0 Wins & 0 Nominations
Amazon – £3.00 DVD £8.15 Blue Ray
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I think it’s fair to say Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are much better together in film than apart, a hilarious comic writing and acting double act that have bought us some great movies.
===Four very funny movies===
Shaun of the Dead
Pegg has come out on top by a mile with his solo projects and carved a nice little lucrative niche as comic techy turn in stuff like his Start Trek and the Mission Impossible films. But for Nick Frost it’s been tough and his career as good as going backwards after Cuban Fury, his only solo male lead movie project. Sadly it doesn’t look like the pair have any more of their enjoyable geeky double act films coming along in the immediate future.
Man Up is Pegg’s latest venture into romantic comedy as he gets a well earned break from big budget comic book adventures. He is co-writer here although under female direction this time around and very much a romcom from an intelligent female perspective as America’s striking and funny Amazonian new talent Lake Bell stars alongside as the love interest. She is an acquired taste and unconventionally attractive and sexy for a leading lady. The American actress has amazing British accent to that is up there with Rene Zellwegger’s, Bridget Jones. We will be hearing a lot more from this super talented girl.
• Simon Pegg… as Jack
• Lake Bell….as Nancy
• Sharon Horgan….as Elaine
• Rory Kinnear… as Sean
• Ken Stott…as Bert
• Harriet Walter… as Fran
• Ophelia Lovibond… as Jessica
• Olivia Williams….as Hilary
• Stephen Campbell Moore… as Ed
• Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Daniel
• Dean-Charles Chapman as Harry
• Robert Wilfort as Ryan
Jack: Do you even like bowling?
Nancy: I love bowling.
Jack: Great, so you weren't faking it the whole night, then?
‘30something’ Nancy (Lake Bell) is single, cynical and on the shelf. Her supportive sister Elaine (Sharon Horgan) hopes sis will find true love one day and suggests she "put herself out there" after yet another failed blind date.
When Nancy takes the train to London to celebrate her parent’s 40th anniversary she makes conversation with a posh ditzy girl in the opposite seat. Pretty 24-year-old Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond) is also looking for love and going on a blind date based on a self-help book called 6 Billion People and You. Nancy is curt to Jessica on the journey and wants to make it up to Jessica when she gets off the train when Jess accidently leaves the book behind. Nancy pursuit of Jessica fails. The twist is Jessica is supposed to identify herself under the station clock to her blind date. Nancy is oblivious to this but standing under the clock with the book. Nancy being Nancy soon decides to talk herself into it and go along with the mistaken identity date to a man called Jack (Simon Pegg).
Pretending to be Jessica the pair have a good time drinking and bowling in london, but Nancy's ruse destroyed when they run into Nancy's creepy middle school acquaintance, Sean (Rory Kinnear). Nancy and Jack argue when her deception is revealed and return to the bar, where they run into Jack's soon-to-be-ex-wife Fran (Harriet Walter) with the man she is having an affair with, Ed (Stephen Campbell). But there is clearly an attraction between Jack and Nancy but how to make things right?
I have to say although this got good ratings I dint enjoy it much. It’s just too cold and angry for a romantic comedy and poorly cast. There is little chemistry between Pegg and Lake and these two simply would not attract. It’s no Love Actually that’s for sure. Pegg cant do romantic movies, end of. Lake is a great comic talent but gauche on screen and the two wrong for the movie the way it’s laid out. I could see a way for it to work as it’s well written and bitchy and cynical in that way the Brits are bought up with on comedy here but not the time and place. It’s bitchy and caustic to the end with plenty of unlikeable character sin it and so no real romance here and defeats the object of renting or buying the movie.
Its TV shows Fleabag meets Sharon Horgan’s Catastrophe and I’m sure women are indeed more like Lake Bell’s, Nancy in real life but that’s exactly why we don’t want in a romantic comedy, regardless of its intelligent scripting. I think it’s just muddled up on what it wants to be and falls through the gap. If Pegg and Frost did a romcom I’m sure it would be hilarious but we know neither can be a lead in a romantic comedy apart. You saw that in Run Fat Boy Run that a geek can’t be the star of a Situation Romantic Comedy.
It was cheap at £3 million pounds to budget but tanked in the box office, making barely a million in the U.K. It clearly had poor word of mouth from the date flick crowd it’s aimed at and went down from there. It’s a shame as the two leads are very talented writers and performers but just not right for this. I see what they were trying to do and Catastrophe did it very well and perhaps Sharon Horgan in the lead would have been better option than just the cameo here. If you have a cynical outlook on love and marriage then you may get more from this but for me it’s the one escapist genre in the movies you don’t want that in the mix and want to believe romantic love is real and waiting for you just around the corner. The cheesy Hollywood ending doesn’t help either. My advice would be to watch Love Actually again and avoid this one.
Imdb.com – 6.8/10.0 (36.435votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 81% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 68% critic’s approval
Globe & Mail –‘Bell and Pegg are utterly defeated by a screenplay that favours plot over characterization to an almost surreal, parodic degree’.
Hollywood Reporter –‘ Both actors stay sharp through some pretty degrading moments, and if Palmer and screenwriter Tess Morris are bent on serious button-pushing in the closing scenes, at least they garnish it with playfulness and wit’.
Toronto Star –‘Aside from the silly title and disappointingly pat ending, even the rom-com-averse will find something to love about Man Up’.
South China News –‘ A ruthless rom-com for the Tinder age, Ben Palmer's London-set love match is speedy, amusing and utterly, utterly heartless’.
Martin Roberts –‘ It's all very gener ic and predictable, but not in an entirely bad way. Man Up has its charms and it'll raise a smile, perhaps even a chuckle or two, if you're looking for a no-frills romcom’.
The Mail –‘For all the rom-com conventions of the film (and there many...), it has a low-key charm and an adult take on expectations, disappointments, and missed opportunities...’
Brixton's cute Ritzy cinema is part of of the small Picturehouse chain which owns 18 cinemas across England and Scotland.
I feel very lucky to have the Ritzy as my local cinema. In comparison to London city centre cinemas it's cheaper, has friendly and knowledge staff, a relaxed, arty atmosphere and a great bar. It often hosts Q&As with actors and directors, live screenings of operas and other concerts and regularly participates in niche film festivals.
Each Picturehouse cinema offers a membership system which is great value for money and makes a perfect gift too.
A single membership costs £30 per year (£22 for concessions) while two people living at the same address can get a joint membership for £50.
Each membership comes with three free tickets to use at your local Picturehouse (and given regular tickets cost £9 then this almost covers the cost of the membership). You also get £2 off full price tickets, discounts at other Picturehouse cinemas, a printed programme mailed to you regularly, discounts on food at the Ritzy bar and you don't pay any booking fee on cinema bookings made over the phone or online.
I've just renewed my membership mainly to take advantage of the free preview screenings of upcoming releases which take place occasionally. These are usually on Sunday mornings and are a great way to check out films you might not otherwise pay to see. Recent highlights include the brilliant Looking For Eric and the fantastic French thriller Anything For Her.
Whether you fancy a membership or not, it's also worth signing up for the Ritzy's weekly email newsletter which contains details of all screenings and music events in the bar.
So if there's a Picturehouse cinema near you, consider a membership as a gift for a film fan this year - you'll be in their good books for a very long time!
The Ritzy in Brixton isn't to far away from where I live, I can jump on a bus (or get on normally) and it won't take long. An added bonus is that Oyster cards make travel on buses and some other public transport free. If not it is always cheaper with an oyster card.
I don't tend to watch that many films, more DVD's etc. Going to a place just to see a film seems a bit pointless, but I watched 'Spirited Away' here for the first and, yes the film was great - even with just subtitles - I have seen it roughly 5 times now, but the Ritzy itself Was like a little café/Village Cinema kind of theme. Everything seems so wooden and Red, unlike the Odeon which is blue, and other places. It was quite cosy and the film quality was equal to anywhere else. The writing that tells you what films are on is done letter at a time and it has a nice square outside it.
The other differences are that it shows some other films aswell as the big ones so I know a lot of older people like to go and watch these things you might never have heard of.
I don't mean to be rude but Brixton seems like an unlikely place for the Ritzy. But with the varieties Brixton has It doesn't stand to out of place, plus it's fairly on the outskirts.
Brixton is counted as Central London and so has a tube station or a train station which means that It is very easily accessible.
Another good side is that it is independent (ish) - part of the picture house group - and is very clean. It has been reffered to as a theatre/cinema and When you line up in a grand hall with a red carpet it feels quite special.
My personal downside is that I don't care for foreign films and films no one really knows about so I would be more drawn to the Odeon or the Vue.
And price wise it is similar to anywhere else (apart from Under 16's only pay £2.50) but doesn't have a "cheap night" however if you become a member and expect to go A LOT then it works out well and you get many discounts.