Long Shot


Long Shot
Directed by Jonathan Levine
Starring Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, and Alexander Skarsgård
Available on Ultra HD Blu-ray™, Blu-ray™ and DVD September 9th, 2019
Available on Digital Download August 30th, 2019

by Joanna Orland

On the surface, Long Shot seems like the standard rom-com where a man (Seth Rogen) wins over a woman (Charlize Theron) who is totally out of his league. Delve a bit deeper and the characters’ backstories cleverly get around this totally unbelievable match, while somehow Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron have terrific on-screen chemistry. Add in quite a few laughs and an amazing support cast including an unrecognisable Andy Serkis, a Trumpian Bob Odenkirk, and Alexander Skarsgard doing his best Justin Trudeau impression, and Long Shot is a genuinely funny film.

When political journalist Fred Flarsky (Rogen) takes a stand against evil corporate greed, he ends up losing his job. While commiserating his career, he ends up at a party featuring the one and only Boyz II Men, and runs into his childhood babysitter Charlotte Field (Theron), who now happens to be Secretary of State of the United States of America. She’s a fan of his writing and hires him to work on her speeches for her upcoming Presidential campaign. Obviously one thing leads to another and sparks fly.

The premise may not be original as it follows the standard tropes of the genre, but what makes Long Shot standout is the collective performances of its leads and support cast. Everyone is consistently likeable and charming, while Theron and Rogen play off of each other like old friends.

The one aspect of Long Shot that is different to your average rom-com is the refreshing role reversal. It’s the woman in the position of power and the man who’s the underdog after her affection. How many rom-coms have we seen where it’s the guy who is the desirable one and the woman the underdog either socially (ie She’s All That) or economically (ie Crazy Rich Asians)? It’s not that it’s never been done before – Notting Hill featured bookseller Hugh Grant winning the heart of movie star Julia Roberts. But, in Notting Hill Hugh Grant is obviously a very handsome man, and no offence to Seth Rogen, but the film is called Long Shot for a reason. And it’s to its credit that this very unlikely match comes across as not only plausible, but desirable; you can kind of see what Charlotte might actually see in Fred, thanks to some sharp writing and strong acting.

Funny, likeable, charming, Boyz II Men – Long Shot ticks all of the boxes for what you’d want from a modern day rom-com.



 

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