Review: Polls show 'Long Shot' is a fun-filled rom-com

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 5/10/19

The movie “Long Shot” is a romantic-comedy that is less funny than it is clever.

This was a film I saw on a whim. It stars Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. Although it was mostly marketed …

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Review: Polls show 'Long Shot' is a fun-filled rom-com

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The movie “Long Shot” is a romantic-comedy that is less funny than it is clever.

This was a film I saw on a whim. It stars Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. Although it was mostly marketed as a comedy, it was more dramatic and romantic than witty.

I’m no stranger to a rom-com, and this one definitely fit the bill.  Dorky guy meets attractive girl he once knew and the two immediately hit it off once again. In this instance, the dorky guy is investigative reporter Fred Flarsky (Rogen) and the attractive woman is Secretary of State Charlotte Fields (Theron).

In the past, Fields babysat for Flarsky, who is several years her junior. The two run into one another in a coincidental encounter at a high-end party. As Fields is contemplating a run for president in 2020, she’s out shaking hands and kissing babies; however, she gets immediately distracted upon seeing Flarsky again, since he’s one of the few people to bring her back down to Earth from her elite mindset.

Much to the chagrin of her campaign manager, Fields offers Flarsky a position on her team as a speechwriter, which he hesitantly accepts, as he’s a very idealistic reporter who doesn’t want to write speeches for someone he believes in only to have them change their morals after being pressured by bigger interests. I thought this was an admirable point, as most politicians nowadays don’t have this sort of moral compass. Eventually, their relationship flourishes and romance develops.

The cast of this film was great, and featured not only Rogen and Theron, but also O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alexander Skarsgard and June Diane Raphael.

Everyone did an exceptional job, and Theron’s normally icy exterior definitely melted a bit as she cut loose with Rogen’s character. Unfortunately for Rogen, he offered nothing new. Seth Rogen essentially plays the same character in every movie. A stoner with similar attire who has a unique laugh.

This brings me to the humor of this film. It’s pretty funny, but not laugh-out-loud hilarious. The funniest parts involve Theron, who I previously noted has an icy exterior as an actress. In villainous roles, she excels, but not necessarily in funny ones. That’s what made her do such a great job in “Long Shot,” as she plays a by-the-books Secretary of State who learns to ease up and have fun through Rogen’s character. We get to see her watch movies and TV shows she’s missed by working so much like “Game of Thrones.” We get to see her party and we even get a genuinely hilarious scene where she negotiates a hostage from a foreign nation by speaking frankly with its leader.

Now we get to the less desirable aspects of “Long Shot.” While it’s centered around politics, this film didn’t have to go the route most expect Hollywood to go, but it did. Yes, they make fun of the current president, Donald Trump. They don’t do it by name, but in this film, the current president who isn’t seeking reelection is basically a caricature of Trump. Jokes are made throughout at the expense of this Trumpian president, plus the writers made him incredibly dim and foolish. I understand our president has a particular personality and his own flaws, but outright attacking a sitting president in a predictable fashion is a bit gauche, and completely expected.

In addition to the president, “Long Shot” took aim at only one news station in particular: the mirror image of Fox News. Every anchor on this network was racist/sexist. It would have been funnier if they’d simply made fun of every news station for the numerous stereotypes they bring on air, but they only focused on the Fox lookalike.

The politics did have a bright side, however, as Rogen, after bashing Republicans in general, is accosted by his best friend because unbeknownst to Rogen, his best friend is a Republican. He simply never told him because he knew he would treat him differently, and poorly. Rogen, as a reporter, treats his viewpoints as correct and the opposing views as flat-out wrong. This was perhaps the funniest thing to me, as that’s how countless people are in 2019. They can’t see an opposing viewpoint, or understand them. It’s simply us vs. them, and that’s not how humanity should be acting.

Overall, this movie was good. I’d watch it again, and I don’t say that about just any rom-com. The acting was good, the plot was well-written. It kept my attention, especially with all of the modern jokes. Parents will love this movie. It’s a great film for date night.

“Long Shot” is rated R for strong sexual content, language throughout and some drug use. (Typical Rogen flick). I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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