Long Shot

On my more cynical days, I sometimes feel the only reason we have cinema is so that unattractive men can kiss beautiful women who would otherwise be unattainable to them. No shade against Seth Rogen, but let’s face it: the man is a schlub. An endearing, lovable schlub, sure. But Rose Byrne? Michelle Williams? Elizabeth Banks? Let’s call it a stretch of the imagination, one that Hollywood asks us to take a little too often. In this particular movie, it’s Charlize Theron, while Seth’s character, in a ubiquitous teal windbreaker, is actually mistaken for a homeless man.

Charlotte Field (Theron) is not just a beautiful, out-of-his-league woman, she’s the goddamn Secretary of State. Fred Flarsky (Rogen) is not exactly a slouch: he’s a journalist MV5BZWVhODA5ZmItOWYwOC00OTU3LWJiNTEtODcwMDIyMTBjZWY3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc5OTMwOTQ@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1291,1000_AL_who goes the extra mile to get a juicy story, BUT he just got fired. Well, okay, he quit on principle, but the net effect is, he’s unemployed. Which kinda works out perfectly because the Secretary of State is about to announce her run for President, and she just needs someone with a comedic touch to punch up her scripts a bit. Enter Fred, who in fact has crossed paths with her before. She was the babysitter he had prepubescent chub for, and maybe he’s been carrying just the tiniest lit torch ever since.

Anyway, Fred is the last man on earth Charlotte should be falling for just as she’s about bet her life on the polls. And yet, hormones. Theron and Rogen have some major oddball chemistry going. It turns out Theron can hold her own in pretty much any movie. But this one is more interested in pointing fingers at the ridiculousness of their pairing than exploring who either of them are as people, or explaining how exactly Fred is worthy of Charlotte (or indeed the other way around – their romance is largely inexplicable).

It works adequately as a superficial, no questions asked rom-com, and moderately better as a political comedy. There’s a familiar cynicism there, but it’s nowhere near as biting or incisive as Veep. Still, I laughed. And Sean snorted. That counts for something in an era where the comedy genre should probably be renamed “attempt at comedy.” It’s kind of a crap shoot, but Long Shot turns out to be a pretty good bet.

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10 thoughts on “Long Shot

  1. Carrie

    Just saw this one yesterday (couldn’t get into Endgame–not unless we wanted to sit in the front rows–grr), and I’m in agreement with you. I didn’t find it all that believable, but it had some laughs. I was surprised by Lisa Kudrow’s tiny role in it. She deserves more airtime.

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  2. Kariyanine

    The movie hit just enough of the right spots to keep me on board. It is not quite as funny as it thinks it is or attempts to be but when the jokes hit, I laughed.

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  3. Bryce Warden

    Finally, I saw a current movie inline with your review! I thought it was funny (also didn’t believe that romantic hook up would ever happen IRL but hey it’s a movie, a comedy at that)….my favorite bits were the Fox segments playing in the background, that was gold. Parker Wembly character reeked of Bannon and I personally think Saul Goodman would do better than our current POTUS…Fun movie and given the USA’s current political status how far off is it really? Oh and Theron can do anything, seriously, any damn thing.

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  4. Birgit

    I’m willing to take a try on this even though I am not a fan of Seth Rogan who looks and sounds like an obnoxious Oscar Madison…and I think Oscar was a fun guy…the Jack Klugman version. I can see where he would be her friend and maybe a drunken one night stand that you want kept silent but not a love match.

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  5. Brittani

    They were a very believable couple to me. Rogen may not have a 6 pack but I don’t think he’s an ugly guy by any stretch. I didn’t think this was perfect either, but it works.

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