Really all we ask of romantic comedies is that the leads have good chemistry and you get the odd laugh or two. Nothing too stringent and yet the genre has been largely letting us down of late. Surprisingly it is the seemingly oddball coupling of Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen which renews my hope in the whole genre.
If they have done the writing well then the two people thrown together over a very short period not only become people we see together, but two people we are rooting for. And gosh darn it, Dan Sterling (wrote episodes of South Park and The Office) and Liz Hannah (The Post) have accomplished just that. They have managed to make me believe that someone that looks like Charlize Theron could be with someone like Seth Rogen. Amazing!
After quitting his job at a newspaper because he hates the man who bought it, Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen – Knocked Up, This is the End) is at a crossroads in his life and then fate brings back into it the girl he had a crush on when he was 12 years old. Fred’s best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr. – Straight Outta Compton), to cheer him up, brings him out to a charity event. Also attending the event is Secretary of State, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron – Monster, Atomic Blonde). They know each other as Charlotte babysat Fred when he was 12.
Not only are the brought together, but they are BROUGHT together. Charlotte needs a writer to help punch up her speeches and Fred needs a job and direction. So he becomes part of her team much to her assistant Maggie’s (June Diane Raphael – from television’s Grace and Frankie) chagrin. After spending some time together, against all odds and expectations, Charlotte and Fred fall for one another.
Normally that would be story over, but for someone – Charlotte – who is going to run for President of the United States having someone like Fred in her life is not going to be accepted by many. Will she choose love over career?
Funny! Bottom line, folks. You will laugh. A lot. Long Shot is hella funny. It works on many levels. Remember this is a film, so you do have suspend belief. I mean, a woman that powerful able to go out to a club while on Molly and dance about….never!
What I did rather enjoy and was surprised about is the level of nuance that exist kinda in between the laughs. We get a look at the pressures of being a female candidate or in the political world. Or what it is like to be a woman putting her career first. Or what it is to be a beautiful woman. The idea of tolerance is broached. Pay attention to the stuff between the laughs because, although the laughs are good, there is some good stuff there. Stuff which elevates this a little above just a rom com.
The two leads obviously like each other and had a great time making this movie. It totally comes through on the screen. Rogen does a great job getting laughs and occasionally being serious when he has to. Charlize Theron’s range is up front and center. She is a powerful woman one minute, someone who is doubting herself the next and then a sexy woman asking the man she is about to have sex with to choke her a little. Yo! That is range. All done by one actress, in one role and believably. She has done drama, action and dark comedy, but this is her first straight up rom com and it is a success.