Long Shot flips the script then does the running man on 80s/90s romantic comedies by fusing together a commentary on gender and politics inside a hilarious story that focuses on relationships instead of attainment.
Looking to become more personable in the public eye, Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) hires political pessimist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), a recently unemployed journalist who had quit his job to avoid becoming part of the conglomerate he wishes to take down, to help write speeches for her 2020 Presidential campaign.
Despite their non-PC behaviour away from the cameras, Charlotte and Fred handle their relationship like intelligent adults. Had Long Shot been a lesser film, their differences and concerns for how others perceive their relationship would result in separation. Instead, Long Shot handles complications maturely, resulting in a refreshing take on the rom-com that plays to the strengths and electrifying personalities of Theron and Rogen.
Long Shot’s willingness to explore double standards and practices by media to shut-down women is elevated by the films decision to play in-and-out of the rom-com genre, allowing Theron to have her own agency and drawing humour from the asinine experiences she endures.
Rogen’s brand of endearing-loveable-stoner humour is present throughout Long Shot, though develops throughout the film to the significant benefit of the story and a testament to the acting chops of Rogen. This does not by any means allow Rogen to get the last laugh, with Theron digging deep to deliver many of the films funniest moments which further demonstrate how versatile of an actress she continues to be.
Long Shot sees Director Jonathan Levine continue his run of films that explore extreme relationship struggles with the films exaggerated take on compromise following previous work from Levine exploring couples dealing with cancer and flesh-eating zombies.
Levine is a director unafraid to let his films take sharp turns and does a cracking job absorbing the audience into the relationship of Rogen and Theron that he needs to remind the audience about the serious circumstances their coupling exists within.
Long Shot‘s grounded-in-realism take on politics doesn’t feel the need to mud-sling, speaking truthfully about politics functioning as entertainment over policy (Bob Odenkirk playing an under-qualified vapid President who shines in every scene he is in) and the destructive nastiness on both sides of the Republican versus Democrat debate that threatens to divide America.
An affection for nostalgia carries through to not only the dress-code of Fred (windbreaker and all) but in a soundtrack laced with electric 90s RnB that resonate as the emotional backbone to every thirty-somethings childhood.
A laugh riot featuring stellar performances from Theron and Rogen, Long Shot is a delightfully executed rom-com right for 2019.
Long Shot screens nationally from Thursday 2 May 2019. For more information, visit: www.longshotmovie.com.au for details.
Image: Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen star in Long Shot – courtesy of StudioCanal
Review: Hagan Osborne