Here Is Something We Haven’t Gotten In Awhile. A Very Smartly Written And Laugh Out Loud Adult Romantic Comedy With Brilliant Gags. It Will Be The Comedy To Beat In This Summer’s Box Office Race.
“Long Shot” is one of those films to where the trailer does the film no justice nor does it help it’s cause. It markets the film to be of the cliched romantic comedy premise of the goofy nerd trying to win the heart of a beautiful successful woman. While “Long Shot” does revolve around that idea, what it doesn’t show is how director Johnathan Levine (“Warm Bodies”, “50/50”, “The Night Before”) gives us a brilliant new take by mixing an old-fashioned romance with a heavy sprinkling of brilliant gags, in a smartly written script brought to the screen by Seth Rogen and Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, who provide big laughs, great chemistry and plenty of heart. You will be utterly surprised by the film as “Long Shot” is going to be the best comedy of 2019.
“LongShot” is very much a commentary on today’s world. The commentary on feminism, work, politics and dating feels both believable and funny as the entire movie feels timely, but never heavy handed. Charlize Theron plays as the films producer and character Charlotte Fields, the Secretary of State who is looking to run as a presidential candidate as she is about to embark on a world tour to shore up support for an environmental protection bill. Seth Rogen who also produces the film is Fred Flarsky, a real schlep who lives to wear a hat and windbreaker that looks to be straight out of the 1980’s. Charlotte who used to babysit Flarsky as a teenager, reunite by chance at a party. Flarsky who is a radical journalist gives Charlotte his columns to read as she decides to bring him in as her speechwriter.
In the good ole rom-com tradition the two get close. Flarsky’s jokes and wit improves Charlotte’s speeches while breaking down barriers between them. After surviving an act of violence together in a foreign country, they begin a wild and exciting relationship. Even though “Long Shot” contains few of the typical Seth Rogen jokes. Screenwriters Liz Hannah, and Dan Sterling’s script makes his character Flarsky charming and lovable. While Seth Rogen’s performance is hilarious it also has substance. I loved seeing Rogen embrace this role, because it feels different than anything that he has ever done.
Charlize Theron on the other hand proves once again that she can do no wrong. “Long Shot” marks the first time that Theron has starred in a slapstick romantic comedy and she is delightful, funny and right on her timing. As expected she fully embraces her role as Charlotte. This character not only allows Theron to show off her comedic side but reminds audiences that she can play an empowering bad-ass female. Theron has a terrific sense of comedic timing and it shows in one scene in which Charlotte has to negotiate a hostage release while high on Mollys. A scene that could look great on paper but could translate to an easy misfire on screen, but Theron absolutely sells it.
The heart of the film is the chemistry between Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen who is right on the money. The trailer doesn’t do a very good job of selling their chemistry, nor does it do the film any justice. Theron and Rogen prove within the film’s first act, that they not only make a great odd couple but are a match made for a comedy like this and their performances have layers to them. The chemistry bounces off one another so well that there are plenty of moments where the two have to have serious conversations, that work just as well as the moments that make you laugh out loud.
With Rogen’s schlep and Theron’s elegance and wit, it’s understandable to be stumped about the Charlize Theron falls for Seth Rogen premise of “Long Shot”. Levine’s film is so warm, well written, funny and perfectly cast that it doesn’t go down the typical relationship struggle roads, by avoiding clichéd jealous misunderstandings. We just get two confident leads, who are self possessed people that enjoy communicating with each other. The chemistry exuded by Theron and Rogen really drive home the opposites-attract connection.
Flarsky’s character is very likeable, he experiences tremendous personal growth and is sweetly supportive of Charlotte. It’s understandable and relatable why Charlotte falls for him. “Long Shot” will warm your heart and make you laugh out loud. It also satirizes our divided political climate with cleverer than expected insights and completely makes fun and rips apart our current President. “Long Shot” is the comedy to beat at this summer’s box office. If you don’t believe the romance or chemistry between Rogen and Theron, start believing because “Long Shot” is one of the years best films.
GRADE: ★★★★☆ (4 Out Of 5)