I've been procrastinating on this review because Man Up was so underwhelming. It's the kind of movie made for Netflix (well, not made for Netflix in that sense - pretty sure this made it to theaters and flopped). It's the kind of movie you throw on when you're hungover or done with binging Bojack Horseman and need something light.
Man Up follows an "undateable" 30-something writer played by Lake Bell. She's supposed to be English but her accent is so atrocious I really wondered why they insisted on making her from the U.K. Nothing of value would have been lost by hiring a British actress or by letting Lake be American!
Anyway, Simon Pegg mistakes her for his blind date, and rather than correct him and go on with her day, she decides to go along with it. It's not the most realistic premise for a movie, but rom coms require a little suspension of disbelief.
Surprise, surprise, they bond over movie quotes and beers. When he finds out, halfway through the movie, that she's not the 24-year-old triathlete he'd been set up with, there are some funny moments. The movie does a great job calling Pegg's character - a 40-year-old - for wanting to date someone nearly half his age. And there are a few charming moments between the lead characters.
But overall? This movie left me really cold. I didn't buy that Lake Bell couldn't get a date. I didn't buy that Simon Pegg wouldn't have seen a picture of this girl before he agreed to go on a date with her. I didn't buy the weird subplot where Lake's stalker from high school tries to blackmail her into making out with him. I didn't even really buy that the two leads would fall for each other. They were cute but seemed all wrong for each other. Again, I'm all for suspension of disbelief, but so much of this movie rang false.
I think the frustrating thing about this movie is how good it could have been. Both leads are likable and talented, and the premise is cute enough. But the writing feels like something out of an ABC Family made of TV film. I'd lump this in with Beauty and the Briefcase or Labor Pains - movies made by washed up Disney channel actors past their prime (love you, Hillary Duff!) And for two actors of decent caliber like Bell and Pegg, the movie just isn't up to par.
So would I recommend this one? Sure, if you go in with low expectations and have something else to do while it plays in the background. Otherwise, I'd recommend skipping out on this one.