Home » Years » 2019 » Long Shot •••1/2

Long Shot •••1/2

Starring: Charlize TheronSeth RogenJune Diane Raphael
Director: Jonathan Levine
Screenplay: Dan Sterling, Liz Hannah
Comedy/Romance, Rated: R
Running Time: 125 minutes
Release Date: May 3, 2019



So I’ll take a shot in the dark, Scott. Will Charlize Theron end up with Seth Rogen?

(Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond)

The shot is long indeed, ending up in his beard. Let’s recap.

We are introduced to Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), who is a struggling writer for a liberal newspaper. He no sooner writes a flaming assault on Wembley publications, when he returns to the home office to find that his newspaper has been sold to Wembley. Infuriated by the demise of his paper, he quits in a huff.

We’re also introduced to Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who is the Secretary of State to a president who played a president on TV. He approaches her to become the next president because he doesn’t want to run the next term so that he can pursue a career in film.

Fred begins traveling with Charlotte around the world, writing speeches for her and also serving as her consultant. Charlotte’s chief “handler”, Maggie (June Diane Raphael) is not too happy with Fred’s slovenly appearance and is especially alarmed when she sees Fred and Charlotte grow closer. Eventually Fred and Charlotte become lovers, which puts Charlotte in the awkward position of having to “reform” Fred’s image.

Scott, this film reminds me a lot of both pretty woman with a pinch of Notting Hill thrown in. And maybe just a little bit of Love Actually. We have a woman in power who falls in love with an ordinary man and who reminds her of what her true calling is. There’s quite a bit of poop fart and dick humor in this movie, but Seth Rogen and friends do a good job of making it not just humorous but also just a little bit warm and fuzzy.

Charlize Theron also shows off her comedy chops as she did in earlier films like A Million Ways to Die in the West and one of the episodes with Seth MacFarlane in the Orville. She’s not just a great leading lady but she also has amazing comedic timing. And wouldn’t you know it, she can also do a decent spit take, a staple of comedy presentation.

It also reminds me of the old movie The American President. It hits all the romantic comedy turning points including the getting to know you montage, and the chase to find the lover, the overture, and the profession of love. It is a heartwarming story and very enjoyable.

Greg, I didn’t expect Long Shot to shine as a film, but it really hits the nail on the head when it comes to excelling at the RomCom formula while simultaneously delivering a great message about being true to oneself as well as true to the ethics of protecting our planet from billionaires who intend to harm it. First of all, I never thought it was possible for Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron to portray a believable romantic couple, but they sure do pull it off and had me rooting for their romance to blossom. Part of it stems from their stellar acting, but maybe a bigger part of their believability comes their characters’ earnest desire to make the world better and more honest.

Rogen and Theron are emerging as the spokespeople for the Millennial Generation, a demographic group that cares far more about climate change and environmental well-being than other older generations. So we have a pair of wonderful messages here. One message focuses on remaining true to one’s convictions, being authentic, and being willing to sacrifice love and wealth to be one’s true self. The other message is geared toward the ugliness of politics and how it can change people, and usually not for the better. Again, the rewards of truth-speaking is the take-home point.

This is a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy with the twist of a woman becoming president and her husband becoming the “First Mister.” It’s funny, it’s fun, but not earth-shattering. I give it 3 Reels out of 5.

Both Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron are the hero characters. It’s a romantic buddy comedy. Rogan leads Theron to find her true self – the self she’s forgotten as a cog in the political machine. And Rogan realizes that he is being ultra liberal and learns to see both sides. I give our romantic buddies 3 out of 5 Heroes.

And the take-home message is fairly simple: be true to your self, find your true heart, remember who you are, and you will go far. Who can argue with that? I give it 2 out of 5 message points.

Movie: Message: Hero:

Greg, I think I saw a bit more in this film that you did. There’s a depth here that belies its romantic comedy facade. Yes, there’s fun and wacky juvenile humor here and there, but beneath this silliness of Seth Rogen lies some hefty substance about truth-speaking and the price we must be willing to pay to bring “truthiness” back into relationships and back into politics. I really enjoyed Long Shot and give it 4 Reels out of 5.

Our two romantic heroes both help each other grow and transform, which is exactly why we love going to the movies. Static characters who stagnate are uninteresting, and this movie shows us how both parties in a romantic relationship make each other better people. It’s a strong pairing of hero’s journeys, and I give this couple 3 Hero points out of 5. I’ve already gone over the message underscoring the importance of authenticity and truth-telling at the levels of self, romantic couple, and political system. This message is hugely important in today’s toxic environment and as such I award it 4 Message points out of 5.

Movie: Message: Hero:

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