Renowned for his social wit and humour, Seth Rogen is no stranger to the genre of romantic comedy, having previously appeared in and produced works such as Take This Waltz alongside Michelle Williams and the 2007 film Knocked Up, which grossed a massive 219 million US dollars at the box office. The filmmaker has openly admitted that he and his team have waited a number of years to even begin production on Long Shot, primarily standing by until Charlize Theron was available and interested in taking on a main role. Well, thanks can be given firstly for waiting said amount of time for the actress to sign on and secondly, for releasing this romantic comedy at such a timely moment in society and culture, when the movie’s concept and context resonate stronger than ever. What we have is an underdog romcom that actually proves to be surprisingly defining come the conclusion.
A high profile politician and a journalist who likes to stick it to “the man”. A combination that tends to make sparks fly in a different way, it is the coming together upon which this film finds its premise. After quitting his job, Fred Flarksy (Rogen) finds he is suddenly reunited with his former babysitter, now US Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Theron), when the two meet at a dinner event. Charlotte, who is a fan of Fred’s work, hires him as her speechwriter when she embarks on a world tour and campaign for a new environmental policy, one that she hopes will boost her candidacy for President at the next election. Spending every minute of the day together, the two begin to develop feelings for each other, but all the while political tensions and games run rife in Charlotte’s life, posing challenges to career and her relationship with the admirably principled Fred.
With no meet-cute required in this story because of the characters prior relationship, the audience is allowed in indulge in a side-splitting flashback to the pair’s childhood days and then enjoy the two standout performances that follow. Theron and Rogen click together perfectly and effortlessly, casting any prior doubts about their on-screen compatibility into the long grass, never to be excavated again. A pair of very different actors with distinctive portfolios come together, mixing Theron’s shimmering chicness and Rogen’s lovable humour into a fabulous concoction. Featuring an immense supporting cast including Bob Odenkirk, June Diane Raphael and Andy Serkis, there are immediate suggestions that this particular picture has something more to it than the naked eye can perceive, with all of these actors believing that this movie is something more than your stereotypical “guy meets girl” cheap chick flick.
The costumes are stylish, the soundtrack is aesthetically fresh and incredibly the script itself is seriously funny. The art of this film is that it addresses greater issues and themes of feminism and equality that are very present in contemporary culture, rather than lazily scratching the surface and settling on the typical guy meets girl routine. The writing is anything but lethargic and this is evidently thanks to the time and care of writers Liz Hannah and Dan Sterling, whose previous brilliant work on The Post and The Office respectively bring maturity and charisma to the entire screenplay.
It seems Rogen and Theron can do no wrong at the moment, but the success of this movie has been widely achieved thanks to the time and attention all involved. To put it simply, if you’re going to romcom, romcom like this.
Long Shot is released nationwide on 3rd May 2019.
Watch the trailer for Long Shot here: