MAN UP (15, 88 mins) Comedy/Romance/Action. Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Rory Kinnear.
The romantic comedy goes back to basics in Man Up, a sweet, funny and charming tale of boy-meets-wrong-girl-but-doesn’t-realise-it, filmed on location in London.
Directed at a brisk pace by Ben Palmer, who helmed The Inbetweeners, this contrived tale of mistaken identity strips away most of the gross-out interludes that have become de rigueur for the rom-com genre.
New York City-born writer and actress Lake Bell sports a flawless English actress as the hapless heroine, who bumbles and dithers in a Bridget Jones style, though without the incessant self-doubt and criticism.
She sparks a lively on-screen partnership with Simon Pegg, so we root for their unlikely lovebirds to overcome the various obstacles that screenwriter Tess Morris flings in their path.
These include Rory Kinnear as a lecherous old school mate, who threatens to tell tales out of class about Bell’s protagonist unless she provides him with impromptu sexual favours.
Man Up is an unappealing title for a feel-good romp that relies heavily on the leads to carry the film through its occasional lulls.