Man Up

Musical Score By: Wendy Wang

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the comedy Man Up, Kevin Wu is Martin, a nineteen-year-old slacker whose life is turned upside down when he learns his girlfriend is pregnant.  Unable to cope with the news, he turns to his stoner friend Randall (Justin Chon) for help.  The two set off on a journey to teach Martin what it means to be a man.

                The musical score of Man Up was created by Los Angeles native Wendy Wang.  A guitarist, bassist and pianist, Wendy Wang has appeared in a number of commercials, performed on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Ellen Show.  Sheís also performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall.  Her original compositions have been features in national commercials for Coca-Cola and, as well as in trailers for Focus, The Heat, Olympus Has Fallen and television series such as Girls, Private Practice, Parenthood, The Returned, Jersey Shore and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

                According to the composer, ďJustin [writer, director and star of the film] wanted Man Up to feel nostalgic and to him the sounds of 80s teen movies would do that.  I grew up in the 80s, so this tonal palette was an absolute dream come true to work with. He also wanted to highlight the melodramatic tendencies of the two main characters. Every emotion they have is so earnest no matter how big or small the circumstance or situation, so going over-the-top was highly encouraged.Ē  One can definitely hear the 1980ís music influence in each track of the score. 

                Unfortunately, there isnít much or a score to speak of.  The Man Up Soundtrack features a bunch of movie cues that last about thirty seconds.  Picture your favorite online music store: You arenít sure if you want to purchase this song, so you click on a link that will allow you to sample it.  Thatís what this album is Ė a collection of thirty second (or slightly more) samples of music.  Just when you really get into the synths and beats on the track, itís gone.  Short Chase, for example, is really short Ė fifteen minutes short.  There are a couple of songs, but even they are short and not really worth mentioning.

                Thatís not to say that the music wasnít good on the Man Up Soundtrack.  There just isnít enough of it to give the album high praise.  This is simply a sample of Wendy Wangís work Ė a good sample, but a sample nonetheless.


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