If you bump into Simon Pegg in London over the next six weeks, try not to disturb him. He’ll probably be hard at work wooing Lake Bell in their new romantic comedy Man Up, freshly underway under the guiding eye of director Ben ‘The Inbetweeners Movie’ Palmer.
Pegg is playing a middle-aged divorcee named Jack who stumbles upon the 34 year-old Nancy (In A World...’s Bell), a singleton trapped in a cycle of painfully jolly family shindigs that would horrify even Bridget Jones, and mistakes her for his 20-something blind date. Ever-hopeful of finding someone nice just around the corner, Nancy decides to keep the truth a secret, setting in train an evening of mistaken-identity magic. Or so she hopes.
Reads the film's synopsis: “What follows is a chaotic, unconventional, hilarious night neither of them will ever forget. There will be drinking, there will be home truths; there will be an old classmate with a long-standing crush and stalker tendencies. There will be lost divorce papers, lost hopes, competitive indoor sports and an epic venue-to-venue urban triathlon. Oh, and the small matter of Jack finding out that Nancy isn’t actually his real blind date.”
The World’s End meets Date Night with a sprinkle of Nora Ephron enchantment? Producer Nira Park, Pegg’s long-time collaborator, is promising “a uniquely modern love story” from Tess Morris’s script, with plenty of warmth and lots of funny bits. “These are two very relatable characters, whose experiences have insulated them against the idea of a fairytale, happy ever after”, she explains, “who despite their disillusionment, stumble across it nonetheless”.
Cast-wise, Rory Kinnear, Olivia Williams and Ken Stott are also aboard. Park’s Big Talk Productions and Studiocanal are behind Man Up, with BBC Films also lending its financing muscle.