Nancy and Jack meet on a blind date, but it’s a case of mistaken identity. Mutual explanations follow, and in an instant decision Nancy decides to take fate into her own hands and just go with it. What could possibly go wrong?
The unlikely plot launches a British romantic comedy about taking chances and rolling with the consequences. One night, two people, on a first date like no other.
Nancy (Lake Bell) is 34, single, hung over, and exhausted by her well meaning but clueless friends’ continual matchmaking. Ten times bitten, a hundred times shy, after an especially disastrous set up at her friends’ engagement party, Nancy is basically done with dating. She’s reached the end of her rope, and is more than happy to hole up, seal up, and resign herself to a life alone. That is until Jack (Simon Pegg) mistakes Nancy for his blind date under the clock at Waterloo Station. He a charming, malfunctioning, lovely if somewhat repressed man, still reeling from an ongoing divorce (Pegg pegs it with his saucy take on the not-to-be-messed-with character). And he’s not going to be helped by Nancy doing the unthinkable and going along with his mistake. After all, since she’s had no luck on any of her dates…where’s the harm in gate crashing somebody else’s? Lead on, Jack.
Following instinct Nancy does the unthinkable and just… goes with it. Because what if pretending to be someone else finally makes her man up, and become her painfully honest, awesomely unconventional, and slightly unstable true self? She thought it best just to let the evening unfold, roll with the consequences, and see if one unpredictable, complicated, rather unique night can bring these two messy souls together.
“Man Up” is an honest, heartwarming screwball of a rom-com (think Frank Capra). It’s about putting yourself out there, taking chances, and keeping a hold on that ever-diminishing glimmer of hope, no matter the bumps life throws at you.
Nancy finds herself bar hopping across London, having more and more fun. Beginning with beers, which leads to shots in a Mexican Cantina; which then leads to a highly competitive, sexually charged bowl- off at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes. And as more and more drinks are had, more and more sparks fly, and Nancy can’t help but notice how well she’s doing or, more specifically, how well “Jessica” (Jack’s intended blind date) is doing. But will Nancy ever find the right moment to come clean to Jack? Or will her cover be blown by Sean (Rory Kinnear), an amorous admirer from school, who’s now rather inconveniently a bartender at the bowling alley? Will a (sort of) chance encounter with Jack’s soon-to-be ex-wife and her new lover completely destabilize Jack? And, most importantly, will he have the sense to realize that Nancy might just be the woman he’s been looking for all this time?
Screen writer Tess Morris says a chance encounter with a stranger gave her the idea. “I was standing under a clock at Waterloo Station and this guy came up to me and said, ‘are you Claire?’ He thought I was his blind date. I said ‘no’,
but then he walked away and I thought, ‘what if I’d said yes?’ There’s an idea!” Morris decided it was time to follow the advice of the title of her own script, and took time off to bash her idea into shape. She finished the script in three months.
Simon Pegg co-wrote and co-starred in the worldwide acclaimed, cult television show “Spaced”, then moved on to develop and co-write, with his acting partner Edgar Wright, the critically praised zombie feature “Shaun of the Dead” recognized as one of the best English comedy films ever made. Then it was on to the smash hit follow-up feature, “Hot Fuzz” (a satirical poke at American crime shows). This refreshing British rom-com cheerfully steers clear of the usual clichés that make up tinsel town flicks. It’s also another comedy that celebrates the humour when women instinctively throw caution to the wind and move away from a restrictive comfort zone.
The comedy is currently unspooling on limited screens in the area.
Written by: Alex Reynolds