Once again, Seth Rogen (‘Pineapple Express’, ‘This Is The End’) and Evan Goldberg (‘The Night Before’, ‘The Disaster Artist’) share the producing chair - this time, to bring us an unlikely romantic comedy. Rogen also stars as Fred Flarsky, an activist journalist who just got fired after the site he wrote for got bought out by a mass media company. His friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr, ‘Ingrid Goes West’, ‘Straight Outta Compton’) takes him out on the town to help him forget about his worries. They go to a very fancy event where not only are Boyz II Men are performing but Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘The Fate of the Furious’) is also there, who actually babysat Fred when they were younger. After talking, she learns that he is good writer and really funny, so hires him to help write her speeches, and in the process they fall in love.
I want to quickly talk about the supporting cast, because it could be one of the greatest ever assembled. You have Bob Odenkirk (‘Incredibles 2’, TVs ‘Breaking Bad’) as the president of the United States, who is a famous TV actor looking to transition to film (they actually are really smart with how much this parallels another U.S. president, it was actually really funny and never forced). Not only do you have Queen June Diane Raphael (TVs ‘Grace and Frankie’, ‘Blockers’) but her husband Paul Scheer (‘Daddy's Home’, ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’) also has a hilarious small role, Randall Park (‘The Interview’, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’) is here but briefly, Alexander Skarsgård (‘The Legend Of Tarzan’, ‘The Aftermath’) shows up as the Prime Minster of Canada, and to round it out Lisa Kudrow (‘Romy and Michele's High School Reunion’, ‘Easy A’) was a pleasant surprise to me; I love seeing her pop up in films.
‘Long Shot’ may not be perfect, and with a two-hour run time there is a lot that could have been tighter, but thanks to Rogen and Theron’s acting abilities they keep the audience invested. While some of the humour is a bit over the top, it still make you laugh out loud in parts.
The film is definitely in the vein of ‘Trainwreck’, which is still my favourite modern rom-com, but ‘Long Shot’ does fall short here. While the acting is great, the jokes and story go back and forth in terms of quality. The slapstick stuff here - especially the pratfalls - were very out of place here and always took me out of the movie a little bit. The movie has a weird kind of comedic tone - sometimes they're your typical rom-com jokes, but then other times Seth Rogen will be cumming on his face. Sometime the raunchiness blends well, like Theron’s kinky side, but there is a decent amount that doesn’t. The tone plays into the story telling strangely too - for example, they're writing a speech and then a terrorist attack happens and it’s all intense, but this is just a lead-in to to them sleeping together for the first time. Everyone gets out fine but it’s never brought up again, and it’s just an odd scene that has very little impact on the story. I did really enjoy this movie, I just wished everything was a little bit tighter.
A positive about the film is the political side. Aside from one scene between Rogen and Jackson Jr, it does a good job appealing to a worldwide audience while still pushing a clear message about the U.S. political space, which was surprising from a mainstream U.S. comedy.
‘Long Shot’ may not be perfect, and with a two-hour run time there is a lot that could have been tighter, but thanks to Rogen and Theron’s acting abilities they keep the audience invested. While some of the humour is a bit over the top, it still make you laugh out loud in parts. It’s not a game-changing rom-com, but its definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre or the cast.