When Fred Flarsky reunites with his first crush, one of the most influential women in the world, Charlotte Field, he charms her. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter and sparks fly.
Steven – “Long shot” is the new romantic comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, who
try to find love in a hopeless place. Theron stars as Charlotte Fields, the U.S Secretary of
State, who is in need of a comedy writer in order to create a more humorous image ahead
of her presidential campaign. Enter talented stoner journalist with a heart of gold Fred
Flarsky, portrayed by Rogen, who quits his job after the newspaper he works for is
purchased by an unethical media mogul.
Fred’s successful best friend Lance, played by O’Shae Jackson, decides to cheer him up
by taking him to a charity event. Fred and Lance bump into Charlotte, who recognises
him as her old neighbour she used to babysit. Fred pratfalls his way into Charlotte’s staff
as a somewhat under-qualified speech writer. Charlotte is a driven career politician who
has focused all of her attention on her career, sacrificing most of her self and social life
towards furthering her goal of becoming the first female president. Fred, on the other hand,
is intelligent, virtuous, somewhat unkempt and aimless in life. We are taken along for the
ride as these seemingly incompatible characters grow closer towards each other.
As with most romantic comedies, we see the trail of rose petals leading up to their
romantic entanglement coming from a mile away. “Long shot” however plays to these
tropes and tries to subvert them at the same time. These are illustrated in the reversal of
power in the gender dynamic, Fred’s lack of makeover montage (yet there is a gradual
change in the image of both lead characters) and true to life sexual encounters.
The movie supplies jokes by the truckload, delivered by Rogen’s dry stoner demeanour
and Theron’s Oscar-winning wit, which was definitely echoed in the uproarious laughter
from the lady behind me in the screening room. The supporting cast also shines bright
with the likes of Bob Odenkirk as the imbecilic POTUS, Alexander Skarsgård’s Canadian
Prime Minister and Charlotte’s members of staff played by Ravi Patel and June Diane
Rachel. Not to mention the most “Uncanny Valley”-esque cameo since Les Grossman in
The fairly fluid storytelling makes the 125-minute runtime go by in the blink of an eye, but
if you kept your bladder in check during “Avengers: End Game”, this won’t bother you at
all. The screenplay duo of Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah (whose only other writing credit is
the Award-nominated “The Post”) have not only penned an entertaining story, but also
provides social commentary on issues such as environmental concerns, partisan bias, the
unfair standards imposed on women in society and (don’t tell Helen) white privilege. The
pop-culture references are slathered on at times, making your nostalgia bone tickle with
all the 90’s throwbacks.
If you want to decompress after the emotional onslaught of “Avengers: End Game”, the
divisive 8th season of “Game of Thrones” or just want a good laugh with your other half
(or however, you slice your cake) “Long Shot” is definitely for you.
I give it 7 out of 10 stress-reducing herbal nuggets.
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