When two actors I really like get together to make a movie, it’s supposed to make me happy - but the worry starts to sink in when that movie’s plot sounds like the most generic thing since sliced bread. Such is the case with Studio Canal and Big Talk Productions’ Man Up, a romantic comedy that will team actress/director Lake Bell with Brit comedy god Simon Pegg. Neither of these actors has been in a really good rom-com in their careers, but there are a few reasons to think this film will change that.
For one, Bell and Pegg are both excellent comic actors, so it’ll be great seeing them play off of each other rather than someone more Hollywood being thrown in there. Secondly, the Tess Morris-penned script was featured on the 2011 Brit List, the U.K. version of the Black List (it will be Morris’ first feature though, so we have nothing to compare it to), Thirdly, it will be helmed by Ben Palmer, best known for having directed quite a few episodes of the hilarious BBC comedy The Inbetweeners, as well as the almost-as-hilarious The Inbetweeners Movie in 2011.
With all those great pieces in place, I certainly wish Deadline’s description of the film made it sound a little better. Bell will play Nancy, a single woman on her way to her parents’ house for their anniversary when she gets mistaken for a stranger’s blind date, which of course leads her to finding the perfect boyfriend - whom we’ll assume will be played by Pegg. Sure, there is a lot of room for madcap zaniness to ensue, and I’m probably just being a mope for hating on a logline. I’ll try and kindle some faith on this one in the upcoming months.
Bell is coming off of her directorial debut In a World, which won her the Waldo Salt screenwriting award at Sundance earlier this year, and a stellar fourth season of Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital, for which she directed a handful of episodes. She’s currently filming John Erick Dowdle’s thriller The Coup with Owen Wilson, and recently wrapped Craig Gillespie’s sports drama Million Dollar Arm with John Hamm. She’ll also be heard in the upcoming comedy Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Pegg, who rocked fanboys’ worlds this summer with both The World’s End and Star Trek Into Darkness, recently finished two non-comedies: Kriv Stenders’ Australian thriller Kill Me Three Times and Peter Chelsom’s drama Hector and the Search for Happiness.
Have you guys seen In a World yet? If not you might want to after watching the trailer below.