Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen make the impossible, possible, in unlikely romcom
It’s rare to have a romcom be equally romantic and funny without being a little Hallmark movie cliche. Jonathan Levine’s Long Shot begins with a recently out-of-work journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) who is guided by his successful friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) to a posh party to cheer him up. Fred finds himself locking eyes with Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), his childhood babysitter from the 90s.
Coincidentally, Charlotte is in need of a speechwriter, and Fred is in need of a job.
Charlotte’s below-average comedy is in need of an increase due to her perception rating with voters, and what better way to increase that rating than with someone who already personally knows you.
Throughout their collaboration, the two find themselves falling in love with each other and entangled in a private fling. The complication of this unusual fantasy romance is that Fred is an aggressive, vulgar journalist while Charlotte is Secretary of State — and running to be President.
Rogen and Theron might seem an odd couple on paper, but they make it convincing throughout the film as they fall for each other on a world tour to drum up support and assemble speeches for Charlotte’s eco-initiative. At the start of the tour, Fred begins to realize he needs to get to know the new Charlotte after two decades, so at the beginning of the world tour, they make their friendship a principal to her campaign.
As the questions proceed and become more deep-rooted into Charlotte’s plain personal life, Fred decides to take her on a journey of fun experiences.
Throughout each enjoyable moment with Fred, Charlotte begins to mirror Fred’s attitude on life and grows more personal with the political figures and voters.
Ever since high school, Charlotte has used her power of being the underdog to reach new goals for the community and herself. When Charlotte becomes involved with Fred, she begins to even fall in love with a parallel underdog, Fred.
For the duration of the film, I start to capture the strains that a political figure would have in order to gain a global support for a project. Charlotte’s original eco-initiative was “Bees, Trees, and Seas,” but once the project came into coordination with powerful conglomerates and business leaders, Charlotte is cautioned of their potential to cut the string to her political success.
As time goes by, Charlotte is left with “Bees” of the project. Though, with Fred’s sensible attitude and reminder of her “underdog” status in high school, he reminds Charlotte of her environmentalist passion and drive from childhood to help change the world. At her wit’s end, Charlotte embarks on a televised announcement forcing the conglomerates to accept her previous plan.
The film’s antics flirt with impossibility in almost every scene. In our time, a Secretary of State realistically wouldn’t have been allowed to conduct an international hostage negotiation on MDMA.
Regardless, it was impressive in the film where Charlotte quietly talks down a kidnapper while completely out of her head.
On that note, Long Shot focuses on high-profile obstacles in modern society, which includes the sexist pressures on women at work, the triangle between big business, politics and media, and finally the polling dependence to shape a candidate’s image.
The pressures of being perfect in the public eye and within your supporters is handsomely shown in such detail within the film.
The true focus though is the successful pairing Rogen and Theron have on the screen. Rogen’s comical charms and Theron’s dominating presence exchange energies that in turn shape each other throughout.
In order to capture your own sense of this hilarious, romantic, yet informative film, Long Shot is available on Amazon Prime Video.
~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~