Long Shot Movie Review - A Romcom that lives up to its name
The lead pair Charlize Theron as Secretary of State and Seth Rogen as the bumbling, gifted journalist who was once under her care when she babysat him in his nerdy youth, make it all seem plausible.
U/A: Romance, Comedy
Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, O'Shea Jackson Jr., June Diane Raphael
This romcom with a political backdrop seeks to mirror something of what is happening in America today and the comedic approach taken by Jonathan Levine is pretty much enlivening. The romantic conceit here is a Long shot no doubt but the lead pair Charlize Theron as the fairly older Secretary of State aiming for President and Seth Rogen as the bumbling, gifted journalist who was once under her care when she baby sat him in his nerdy youth, make it all seem plausible.
Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a journalist at an alt-weekly, and the film opens with Fred infiltrating a White Power group, getting a half-Swastika tattoo before getting exposed and escaping. A tiff with his editor following a takeover of the publication by a conservative media moghul (Andy Serkis) has Fred walking out of the job and drowning his misery in drugs and beer with rich best buddy Lance (a fantastic O'Shea Jackson Jr.). Lance takes him to a fundraiser, where he crosses paths with his old babysitter, Charlotte Field who also happens to be Secretary of State. That's exactly when the sparks start to fly.
Check out the trailer here:
The allusions to Donald Trump's 2016 triumph and Ronald Reagan's earlier one are pretty clear here when it's a once popular TV star Chambers (Ben Odenkirk) who is depicted as the outgoing President. And with the Secretary of State doing all the shadow boxing for him, the narrative also side-swipes in the hope of making a feminist statement. While the hard working female candidate has to literally alter her personality to win over the electorate, the fantasy machismo of the TV star makes his term in the White House an easy and successful one. The film would have definitely been more intriguing if the narrative had taken those threads to a satisfying conclusion – instead there's no political statement to be made here and neither is there any great insight into gender dynamics(other than a cursory one). Since this is designed as a people pleasing romcom the more meaningful bits become asides to a romantic plot that envisions the two lead characters as a twosome in forever mode.
Charlotte, the powerful one in the romantic equation is ready to let her hair down and dance to Roxette with Fred. It's not a moment that will sit pretty if you are thinking politics but on the romantic front, the charm of two immensely likeable and gifted stars revving up the chemistry - is very much an easy sell. The narrative showcases the connection through a joyful intersection of two people who seem like total opposites, building up an association that is both eye-pleasing and satisfying. But if you are not completely sold on the charm of these two sterling exhibits of popular culture then there's also several laugh-worthy moments written in by screenwriters Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah, to fall back on!
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