Charlize Theron plays a presidential hopeful who falls for Seth Rogen’s speechwriter in Jonathan Levine’s far-fetched comedy.
That’s pretty much the premise of Jonathan Levine’s Long Shot, a retrograde romantic comedy that somehow manages to pass the public’s #MeToo test at this precise moment.
Right of the bat, we see Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) as a glamorous, powerful, and successful Secretary of the State being endorsed for running Presidency. On the other hand, Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a fearless muckraker whose investigative journalism goes out of hand when a media baron Parker Wembley (Andy Serkis) buys his newspaper.
Jobless and sad, Fred phones up childhood buddy Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) for an epic drown-your-sorrows evening that ends, thanks to Lance’s big-shot connections, at a very swanky Manhattan party; the kind of party where media barons and politicians come to and mingle.
Looking from beyond, Fred catches the eye of a glamorous attendee, Charlotte, who just so happens to be attending the party as well. Charlotte is convinced that she knows this horribly dressed loudmouth from someplace. Turns out, she used to babysit him from years past!
As running for the presidency, Charlotte has been told she’d be the perfect candidate if only she were funnier and more approachable. She hires quick-witted Fred to write for her much to the dismay of her trusted advisors. Having known her at the dawn of her idealism, he has insights that can make her speeches sing. Fred, being the comedy writer that he is, punch up her speeches.
A fish out of water on Charlotte’s elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight. Together on a whirlwind tour as Charlotte and Fred travel the world, Charlotte builds support for her ambitious environmental agenda that take place in the globe’s most romantic capital cities as they trade ideas along the way. With that, a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents make them more vulnerable and close to each other in order to fight and live. Eventually, sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to Charlotte being drawn to Fred.
Starring an all-star cast with some familiar faces like Boys II Men, Alexander Skarsgard, and more, this romantic comedy is sure to knock everyone out of the park. Seriously, it’s filled with familiar faces!
Long Shot hardly begins to describe the premise of Jonathan Levine’s latest comedy, in which an unemployed journalist who looks exactly like Seth Rogen woos one of the most powerful women in the world, who looks just like about the most glamorous version of Charlize Theron you’ve ever seen.
More creepy than romantic, more chauvinist than empowered - and in all fairness, funnier and more entertaining than any comedy in months - “Long Shot” serves up the far-fetched wish-fulfillment fantasy of how, for one lucky underdog, pursuing your first love could wind up making you first man.
Perhaps one of the reasons why Long Shot doesn’t feel so out-of-hand is because it is similar to what America feels right now. Levine, Rojen, and Theron took the time to sit down with the script and the story to make the story realistic and relatable, which were their biggest challenges as to not make the story a Trump-Clinton battle - making Long Shot so effective to the audience.
That being said, screenwriters Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah (along with, presumably, some uncredited puncher-uppers) pack this thing full of laughs. No audience will ever be as generous as a festival premiere where a large percentage of the crowd has a financial interest in the film, but at this screening, the response to many zingers threatened to drown out important dialogue that followed. Supporting roles are broadly drawn but successful — from the trio of vapid boors doing an excellent Fox & Friends impersonation (Kurt Braunohler, Claudia O'Doherty and Paul Scheer); to the president (Bob Odenkirk), who should begin each speech with "I'm not a real president, but I've played one on TV"; to the Canadian prime minister (Alexander Skarsgard), whose dreamy looks mask a total lack of charm.
Politics aside, Long Shot is a major win for Levine, Rojen, and Theron, who defied the odds to deliver an instantly re-watchable hit. It’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s smart, it’s topical, and above all, it’s exactly what some people need right now.