Movie Review Monday: Long Shot (2019)
While there were several films that I had hoped to see at the theater this weekend, Long Shot is the only movie that I managed to sneak a viewing of earlier in the week. This romantic comedy was directed by Jonathan Levine, who has directed past films such as 2017’s Snatched, The Night Before, and Warm Bodies, and it was written by Liz Hannah and Dan Sterling. The film follows a journalist that is unexpectedly reunited with his former babysitter, who is now the U.S. Secretary of State. Seth Rogen stars as journalist Fred Flarsky, and Charlize Theron stars as Secretary of State Charlotte Field. The supporting cast also consists of O’Shea Jackson Jr., June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgard, Ravi Patel, Randall Park, and an unrecognizable Andy Serkis.
The film begins with journalist Fred Flarsky taking an undercover assignment within a white nationalist group meeting. His true identity is discovered during his time there, and he creatively escapes to write his story. He soon discovers, though, that the newspaper he works for has been bought out by media mogul, Parker Wembly. Wembly’s ethics are far different from Flarsky’s personal code, which causes him to quit. His best friend seeks to cheer him up with a fun filled afternoon that ends with attending a fundraising event. In the meantime, Charlotte Field is informed by the president that he will not seek a second term and plans to endorse her instead. Field attends the same fundraiser, where she and Fred reconnect after not seeing one another for many years. This sparks the thought that Fred could be the speechwriter her team is looking for, which sets the rest of the movie’s events into motion.
Long Shot is not the type of film I typically view in theaters, but I did laugh my way through this movie. There are more than a few clever lines within the story, and it was genuinely hilarious in quite a few moments. Now, this is the type of R-rated comedy that has raunchy moments and its fair share of drug references; after all, it should be noted that this is a Seth Rogen film. Regardless, though, the film includes everything from situational comedy and physical comedy to clever quips and moments that parody current and past events. The film is absolutely preposterous in many ways, yet somehow that makes it all the more enjoyable. It utilizes music to the fullest comedic extent, and you cannot help but love the multiple tracks used from Boyz II Men.
The aspect of this movie that truly works is the performances from Theron and Rogen. These two are the ultimate odd couple, and they sell this movie. Rogen’s character is one that fits within his usual wheelhouse, and he manages to bring a lot of heart to the role. However, it is Theron that is dynamite here. She knocks every punchline out of the park and maintains a poise that makes you believe she holds a political office. This story pushes each of their characters to change, and I was glad to see that development for both of them. Honestly, their chemistry was a pleasant surprise as was the thoughtful dialogue beneath all of the laughs and cringey moments. The film touches on the unique pressures that exist for women in political circles in comparison to men. It pokes fun at the demands of those who participate in the political arena as well as how our political system is built.
Overall, Long Shot is an enjoyable romantic comedy that will make you laugh, cringe, and everything in between. The chemistry between Theron and Rogan is enough of a reason to watch it, but it does have more layers to it than the average R-rated romantic comedy. In fact, I saw one review call this film “deceptively layered,” and I find that to be an apt description. While I’m not sure the film has to be seen in the theaters, Long Shot is a fun watch and worth the trip If you enjoy an outrageous comedy.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.