Rated R. Time: 1:28.
“Man Up,” a destined-for-romance story in the spirit of “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” has just enough edge to distinguish it from a Lifetime movie. It also has Lake Bell and Simon Pegg, versatile and likable actors who help the mild story considerably.
Bell is Nancy, a 34-year-old who has been striking out on the dating scene, thanks to a quirky (she recites dialogue from “Silence of the Lambs”) and somewhat abrasive personality. Pegg is Jack, who is still recovering from a failed marriage and trying to force himself back into the world of relationships.
Through a serendipitous sequence of events, Jack mistakes Nancy for a blind date a friend has arranged for him to meet. Nancy, who has been under pressure from her sister (Sharon Horgan) to take more chances, sees no immediate reason to relieve Jack of his mis-impression.
By the time she confesses her true identity, they have already had enough wacky, revelatory bonding experiences that we know that they’re destined for love. The only issue is how many obstacles they’ll have to overcome before they realize that themselves.
The funniest of the obstacles comes in the form of Sean (Rory Kinnear), a long-ago classmate of Nancy’s who materializes unexpectedly and, it turns out, has been semi-stalking Nancy for years. This film, directed by Ben Palmer, is destined for a feel-good conclusion.
(At AMC Barrywoods.)
Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times