Man Up (2015)
Written by Tess Morris
Directed by Ben Palmer
“No, don’t be sad. God, I’m not sad… I’m a bit sad. But I’m also quite proud of myself ’cause I tried. And, you know, no, it didn’t work out, but… I got a hint of what could be out there for me. You know, a fun, loving, crazy, contradictory, long, happy life with someone.” ~ Nancy
One of my very best friends in the world recommended I watch “Man Up”, and I am so very glad she did. I am going to start off by plainly saying I loved it. It is one of the best romantic comedy type films that I’ve seen in ages, and it is one of those films that sticks with you, and makes you think on it and smile, a lot – and, well, it also makes you want to hit “play from the beginning” and watch all over again (something I plan to do this weekend).
One of the things I loved about this movie is that both characters, Jack (Simon Pegg) and Nancy (Lake Bell) are both a mess. Now when I say a mess I do not mean in that “Hollywood” type way (think “She’s All That” where they put some paint stained clothes and glasses on Rachel Leigh Cook, who still looks shiny and perfect in them, and say “ouila! a mess!”), I mean in a realistic, these seem like people I know, or myself, kind of mess. They are both flawed, they are both clumsy and emotional and damaged. As Nancy says at one point, she (and him) are over their limit in baggage, and I couldn’t help but relate.
Maybe its because I feel like the emotional jigsaw puzzle (as Nancy describes it) who is trying to sort out my life, and find those blue pieces in the middle. Or, maybe its because I’m in desperate need of some evidence of hope and love and all that good stuff, and this movie comes to those places in a way that is not soppy or cheesy or over-the-top unrealistic. The movie gave me that romantic fix, and that punch of love, that I needed, in a way that felt both palpable and memorable, and oh my stars, did I mention that I loved it?
Oh, and to make it even better…Jack and Nancy do a dance to Duran Duran’s “The Reflex” that is just perfect and fitting and well, DURAN DURAN (my first music loves), how could I not love this movie?
The film reminded me why I love both Simon Pegg and Lake Bell so much, and how I want to see more movies with both, and maybe even another film together. Lake Bell’s performance as Nancy was spot on, and her character has already been added into my list of favorite fictional characters…Jack, too…but something about Nancy really struck a personal chord with me.
I do not want to ruin anything, and the trailer is up there if you want the gist of the story, but really, I just want you to all go watch it.
“Congratulations on your massive pack of lies!”
What Time Do You Call This? :: Elbow