Man Up

I have next to nothing to say about this movie. On the one hand, the title is so generic and irrelevant to the movie that I kept passing it up on Netflix because I believed I’d already seen it, and on the other hand, the title is sexist and mildly insults me, while still being 6a00d8341c7f0d53ef01b7c7eb94b0970birrelevant to the movie, which makes the insult all the more infuriating.

I suppose Simon Pegg is the dolt who needs to “man up” though why is unclear. He’s just come out of a bad divorce and is set to meet a young woman on a blind date, only Lake Bell hijacks it instead, and of course they spend a lovely day together until it is discovered that she is the wrong date, and worse still, not 24, which was both the allure and the point of the original blind date.

What does it mean to “man up”? It’s defined as: toΒ be brave or tough enough to deal with an unpleasant situation. Because bravery and toughness are male traits? Becatesticle-festivaluse the person who came up with this expression has never seen a man with a simple head cold? To “man up” implies a manly scenario, and a failure of a certain man to fulfill his obligations or responsibilities as a man. In the movie’s case, Pegg has an unfaithful ex-wife, and a charming if slightly mendacious new flame. How exactly do either of those scenarios require testicles in particular? And what would become of this movie if “man up” didn’t mean create a big, Hollywood-style hullabaloo where you declare your undying love for a woman you just met in front of a crowd of rowdy strangers, but instead “man up” meant, admit your fears, communicate haW58NWyS2SSSRbEln8iNSXm0bhonestly, be flexible, be vulnerable. Or what if being this kind of bold and brave didn’t require a Y chromosome and it could be Lake Bell, in all her ovarian glory, reaching across the void? The phrase “man up” implies such a rigid view of masculinity it punishes both the sexes (and all the sexes in between) and leaves us all sitting in painful little boxes having to watch insipid little romcoms the world could do wiman_up_1thout.

And do you know what the worst part is? It isn’t even a terrible movie. Simon Pegg and Lake Bell are quite good together. It’s never been more fun to be a third wheel on a blind date. So while I’m not claiming it’s groundbreaking or anything, it does deserve a better title than this weak offering. End rant.



23 thoughts on “Man Up

  1. Billy

    I was really hoping the title was going to precisely be a pisstake of that sort of language and ideas. What a disappointment. But still worth watching then πŸ™‚


  2. Christopher

    Pegg seems to really enjoy confounding expectations, and in interviews he casually references Baudrillard’s concerns about the infantilization of culture, which makes me think the movie he agreed to was originally a much smarter film that punctured the stupidity of “man up” as a phrase.
    I would have paid to see that other film in the theaters, but this one I think I’ll skip.


    1. Jay Post author

      I can’t believe I passed it by for so long, convinced I’d already seen it. Is there another Pegg\Bell movie I’m thinking of?


  3. John Charet

    I have not seen this yet so I can not comment. Nevertheless, my favorite films with Simon Pegg in the lead are: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, which were all directed and written by Edgar Wright πŸ™‚ I saw that you left a reply on my site regarding my favorite Alan Rudolph films πŸ™‚ Thank you for the kind words πŸ™‚ Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚


  4. Silver Screenings

    I really couldn’t get into this one. I lasted maybe 25 minutes. Amusing premise, great casting, some funny lines, but it wasn’t enough for me. There was just so much Talking, and then I realized I didn’t really care about the characters. Plus, my oven needed cleaning, so I did that instead.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean for this comment to be a rant…


  5. Willow Croft

    Yeah the title was a really strange pick…I wouldn’t have watched it on merit of its title if you hadn’t reviewed it. For some reason, though, I remembered the title as “man bag” LOL. Which was just as silly. And the ending…(spoiler alert, kinda)…well, call me old-fashioned, but at your folks’ 40th wedding anniversary? Seriously? Not that I would know how to end this movie, either, but…oh well. LOL. Having said that, I actually did like the movie–right time, right place, I guess. (Another spoiler) I had a big issue with that chocolate mousse scene, though. On principle.


  6. Willow Croft

    “Jack: You need to man up, Nancy.” That was the quote, I guess, for the movie title. I still loved the charm of the movie overall, but calling Nancy a “girl” instead of a woman at the end? *sigh*


  7. Pingback: Where the Deep Takes You… – Willow Croft

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