Ben Palmer‘s Man Up has no U.S. distributor and is presently only scheduled to open in Ireland, the U.K. and a couple of other territories. It might be okay but I was slightly bothered by an age-gap issue right off the top. It’s an old tradition in Hollywood-funded romcoms and romances for the guy to be 20 or 25 years older than the girl. (58 year-old Clark Gable romancing 24 year-old Sophia Loren in 1959’s It Started in Naples) but Man Up‘s fleet indie-ish vibe suggests a non-traditional approach. Simon Pegg is 45 but (I’m sorry to say this but it’s true) looks like he’s pushing 48 or 49. Lake Bell turns 36 next week and was 35 when the film was shot. Man Up begins with Pegg assuming Bell is a 24 year-old woman he met online, so the film is telling us she looks ten years younger than her age. So while Pegg and Bell are only 10 years apart in actuality, their appearances suggest a gap of 20 or even 25 years. In short Pegg looks old enough to be Bell’s dad. Which is obviously fine if they’d made that part of the story, but apparently they haven’t. This aside, Bell delivers a fairly convincing British accent.
When George Clooney was 45 he looked to be in the prime of his life. (He still does.) Pegg was just a regular young bloke in Shaun of the Dead (’04) and now he’s already on the brink of playing “older” guys. It’s those damn British genes and, if you’re the party-boy type, all those pints of lager and packs of “fags” (i.e., cigarettes).