(M) Directed by Ben Palmer
Starring Lake Bell, Simon Pegg

by Ben McEachen

Newsflash: Lake Bell should be a bigger star than she is. Having done her share of TV (Boston Legal) and films (What Happens in Vegas, No StringsAttached), Bell's one of those likeable, notable co-stars ripe for the spotlight. That's finally happened, Bell going all Bridget Jones in invigorated rom-com Man Up.

Casting is crucial to Man Up, which also has enough story and dialogue spice to help us through the inevitable sequences of misunderstanding, fights and Big Speeches To Win Someone's Heart. Marrying Bell to an impeccable English accent isn't the savviest move; her pairing with Simon Pegg works a banter-licious treat.

Bell is believable dag Nancy, who spontaneously decides to impersonate another woman meeting Jack (Pegg) for a blind date. Pegg and Bell share such bubbly chemistry its worth sitting in on their version of a “getting to know you” evening.

Sadly, Man Up gradually is seduced by the rom-com textbook. Having done an amusing job of painting Nancy and Jack into a corner of fibs and falsified identity, getting them out involves more cliches, less creativity.

This review was originally published in The Big Issue. Click here to check it out.