Tag Archive: Simon Pegg

A very British twist on Bruce Almighty, Absolutely Anything has amusing script that is bought to life in a stunted fashion with mixed results.


Absolutely Anything has two main selling points – firstly it is the first film since the Meaning of Life (1983) to have all five surviving members of Monty Python together again and secondly it is the last film to be released that stars Robin Williams. Unfortunately both of these selling points are hugely disappointing as both Williams and the Python Crew perform voice-work on just a small number of scenes with the Python contingent being particularly unsatisfactory.

Once you embrace this disappointment though and accept that the roles are simply bit-parts the film becomes easily enjoyable as Simon Pegg gains magic abilities and uses them with escalating ridiculousness.


The opening of the film is slow and feels incredibly awkward as many of the early jokes feel forced, cringeworthy and simply fall flat. It feels like a late-eighties comedy made in the modern day and after twenty minutes the film is on a crash-course for disaster.

Luckily however it is saved by Pegg’s powers. Once he realises what he can do the film improves and is all of sudden filled with comedic gold. As it progresses the film just gets increasingly stupid and simultaneously increasingly fun. Embracing it for what it is the last three-quarters of the film are truly laugh a minute; particularly as Pegg struggles with the overly precise nature of the rules.


Throughout the film there is a strong sense of Britishness to the humour as it embraces dark comedy in a stupidly light-hearted and satirical way. In no other film would you see a group of 38 children murdered for almost no reason for example (although shortly afterwards they are bought back to life).

Absolutely Anything is then a slow starting train that once you embrace it and hop on takes you a hilarious world. It’s just a real shame that the Monty Python members have little more than a cameo.


British romantic comedies are generally built much more on awkward situations than their America counterparts that tend to be much more story driven. Man Up delivers awkward by the bucket load and from all sides; it’s just a shame that’s it not funnier.


The film stars Lake Bell as Nancy, a single 34 year old, who Jack (Simon Pegg) accidentally presumes to be his blind date. Rather than correct Jack, Nancy decides to go along with it and the two go on a date that only increases with awkwardness as ex-partners, stalkers, lies and alcohol mix together.

The problem is that whilst the film succeeds in creating an awkward atmosphere it just isn’t funny. You spend the entire film with a half-cringe, half-smile on your face but you never laugh as neither character is particularly comic. Even moments that you’d expect to be funny (Simon Pegg crying in a toilet) aren’t as you feel sorry and embarrassed by his patheticness rather than amused by the reasons for his being there.


Built on a solid situation Man Up is a film that whilst generally likeable just doesn’t deliver the jokes.