Friday 29 May 2015

Man Up ... Down and out

IN a romantic comedy about taking chances and putting yourself out there, the only chance viewers will take is watching this humdrum British film set mainly over the course of one day. Two people meet cute, they hit it off, there's an obstacle in their way, and everything ends happily ever after.
   This film is also so amazingly white that I wonder if multiculturalism had ever pervaded the country. I don't think there was a speaking role for any minority.

   The only interesting thing in this film is how the couple met. Then it's all about a woman challenged about her aversion to commitment.
   Nancy (American Lake Bell), 34, is a single woman who's urged by her married sister Elaine (Sharon Horgan) to get a boyfriend. Nancy, however, prefers eating and watching 'Silence of the Lambs' on TV. She's socially awkward and uninterested in meeting guys; she has cut herself off from the world.
  A trip to town on a train leads to her being mistaken for the blind date of Jack (Simon Pegg, soon to be seen in Mission:Impossible -- Rogue Nation). He's a 40-year-old online marketing manager who's been set up by a friend to meet a 24-year-old triathlete. Nancy carries on with her deceit because she has nothing else to do.
    Jack, of all things, is carrying his divorce papers in his knapsack. He's also carrying the hurt of finding out that his ex-wife (Olivia Williams) had cheated on him and is now dating that guy.
  I really can't think why this Jack and Nancy would be interested in each other other than the fact that the film necessitates it. Jack's supposed to be the good guy because he was cheated on while Nancy, a journalist, is the one who will snap him out of his doldrums.
  It all gets a bit messy, and there's a chance encounter between Jack and his ex-wife, and heck if I know why Nancy and Jack can do dance moves to a Duran Duran song.
   This happens on the day she's supposed to give a speech at her parents' 40th wedding anniversary. A wee bit too contrived for my liking.

1½ out of 5 stars


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