The new romantic comedy Long Shot could have just as easily been called She’s Out Of His League 2. The idea that a schlubby journalist (Seth Rogen) could win over the heart of a much-loved politician (Charlize Theron) with her eye on the White House sounds as outlandish as suggesting a reality show star could become president.
One half is Fred Flarsky (Rogen), a journalist who is still clinging to the principles of research, reporting and writing. He finds himself without a job and runs into Charlotte Field (Theron), a rising political star who just happened to be Flarsky’s babysitter.
The pair end up working together when Field decides to hire Flarsky to be her speechwriter. Their connection has given him an insight into the potential candidate for the White House that makes her speeches more personal. This wouldn’t be a rom-com if at least a few people didn’t like the idea of the two getting close and if Flarsky weren’t such a fish out of water.
Long Shot has a strong supporting cast, including June Diane Raphael as Field’s top aide, Maggie Millikin. She’s just snarky enough to make Flarsky’s life uncomfortable (especially when it comes to fashion advice) but not so mean as to make the role unlikable.
But the strength of the movie comes from Rogen and Theron. It is the chemistry between them that creates the chain reaction that turns what could have been a standard plot into a turbo-charged tale of love and respect.
A dozen years ago, Rogen looked to be on a path to take over as the everyman in the romantic comedy world with his solid work in Knocked Up. He comfort in returning to the genre shows he should have at least done a few more films of this nature (especially if it would have kept him from starring in The Green Hornet).
Screenwriters Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah were smart enough to make both characters flawed enough that they never come across as too perfect. They do make a few mistakes along the way, especially in a sequence where Field finds herself dealing with a political crisis while under the influence of drugs. That’s the only moment in the production that comes across as being too much like a cheap sitcom to fit properly.
Otherwise, Long Shot works because it is built on the strong platform of taking two interesting people, putting them in situations where comedy feels natural and telling a love story that grows at a natural rate. This is sure to be a winning ticket. – Tribune News Service/Rick Bentley
Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel, Bob Odenkirk