Lake Bell, after so many good performances and her terrific directing debut, In a World... But Simon Pegg as the perfect leading man: charming, funny (of course), self-deprecating and real? Now, that's a major surprise. Sure, Pegg is always funny but he's also always bizarre. Who knew he had this kind of performance in him?
MAN UP's director, Ben Palmer (shown at left) and writer, Tess Morris (below, right) knew. This pair, together with their two actors (and Ophelia Lovibond in a choice supporting role) take the rom-com into bright, delicious new byways we have not traveled in a good long time.
From the initial scene, as our heroine Nancy (Ms Bell), frightened of having to interact with the crowd at a party, turns to the bottle and a very funny room service waiter, to an scene on a train with Ms
Yes, Man Up is a rom-com, but how long has it been since we've seen one of this high an order, where everything clicks into place and yet still gifts us with a whole shebang of small surprises that keep unfurling beautifully, even as they propel the plot along, while building the characters of our two possible lovers? A year? Try a decade.
Rory Kinnear -- that's every bit as bizarrely believable.
Tumbledown, and the thankless manner in which it treats its "other woman" and "other man," and you'll quickly understand how special the film is and why its "feel-good" makes you feel that way, guilt-free.
Harriet Walter, Olivia Williams (above, left), Stephen Campbell Moore (above, right), Ken Stott and Sharon Horgan (of Amazon's fab Catastrophe series) doing lovely turns.