Man Up (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Romantic, Comedy
Director: Ben Palmer
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 88 minutes

Man Up (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Acting performance, movie references, rather funny
Bad: No extra features, cheesy one-liners
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Filled with clichés and tons of one-liners, Man Up is your typical feather light romantic comedy flick featuring a predictable and cheesy narrative with well timed eye-rolling humor. Leading a rather unsatisfied love-life, Nancy decides rather impulsively to take the place of a stranger’s blind date which leads to her finding the perfect mate in the modern world.

Man Up

Narratives in romantic comedies are never innovative and the storyline in Man Up lines up with this general concept. It’s simple, predictive and filled with clichés and awkward one-liners that will cause social tardiness. But enough about the general concept of the film, let’s jump right into the storyline.

The film starts with the single 34-year old Nancy (Lake Bell) who’s forced to attend a wedding party where she has been set up with a blind date. The assumption that blind dates are a good idea is well.. never a good assumption. The countless failures of previous tries at dating has left Nancy rather bitter which causes her to become socially inapt. This shows when she blunders with her blind date, to the dismay of her sister Elaine (Sharon Horgan). When this interaction can finally be left in the past, Nancy travels back by public transportation to speech on her parent’s 40-year wedding anniversary. On her way she meets the obnoxious young lady Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond), who comments on Nancy’s negative behavior with the help of a book. They soon clash but not after Jessica has told Nancy about her upcoming blind date, whose supposed to meet her in the train station. Their means of finding each other in the mass is by having a certain book in hand. Arriving their destination, Nancy wakes up in the train looking at the book Jessica had purposely left there for her to read. Wanting to do the right thing, Nancy grabs the book and runs after Jessica.

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This is where the storyline really ramps up as humor has been lacking up until this point of the film. Instead of finding Jessica in the mass, Nancy ends up facing Jack (Simon Pegg), Jessica’s blind date. Unsure of what to do, Nancy is at loss for words while Jack continues to ramble on, “So. Book. Check. And blind date? Check!”. When Jack uses a silly one-liner, quoting Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs, Nancy finds herself being impulsive for once in her life. She decides to go with the flow and claims to be Jessica, the successful 24-year old she dismissed earlier. This unexpected date turns out to be one of the best days in Nancy’s life, and possibly Jack’s too. There’s tons of drinking and inelegant talks about their spot on the relationship spectrum before the night turns into a complete disaster thanks to an old stalker class mate whom is still madly crushing on Nancy. All seems doomed but it wouldn’t be a romantic flick without a happy ending and thus the date continues when Jack faces his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Man Up features a catchy soundtrack from the beginning and continues to do so throughout the rest of the movie which is rather refreshing. Additionally, the movie features a certain geeky vibe with tons of cheesy one-liner quotes from movies such as Silence of the Lambs and Wall Street. The humor albeit cheesy, is great.

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The actors in this movie are fairly unknown although Simon Pegg has played in Mission Impossible and Shaun of the Dead while Lake Bell could be found acting in What Happens in Vegas and No Strings Attached. Both actors however put down a stellar performance with quite some chemistry, a notion not often found in these romantic flicks. The cast is strengthened with a sublime performance of Rory Kinnear, who portrays the lovesick stalker Sean. Olivia Williams, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Ken Stott and Harriet Walter make quite some appearances in the film as well.

The view time is cut rather short as the film is only 88 minutes long and the Blu-ray disc doesn’t come with extra features. While not a necessity, a gag reel would have been a fine addition after an already well-executed comedy flick.


While staying true to its genres general concept of silly one-liners and an abundance of clichés, Man Up is a fine romantic comedy about taking chances, making decisions and rolling with the consequences. The general notion of failure and bitterness is very down to earth while staying eye-rolling hilarious. And while very predictive, the film shows impulsive decision leading to various unforeseen well-executed events. It is certainly a great movie to watch once or twice with your female friends.

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Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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