Long Shot

Secretary of State and the Beast


08 May 2019| Comments Off on Long Shot     by Sean Chavel


Rom-coms have been infrequent in recent years despite their once unstoppable popularity. Do we now need an avenger in one just to get a green light? We do now have Long Shot which has half-baked ambition. The impossibly beautiful Charlize Theron plays Charlotte Field, the Secretary of State with enough leadership prowess to be the next presidential hopeful. She gives a long lost childhood friend played by Seth Rogen a shot to punch-up jokes in her speeches. Rogen is Flarsky, a slob and terrible dresser who has had a career putting F-bombs in his news headlines, but when he lost his job (well, he quit because he didn’t want to work for a conglomerate), he lucks in working for the girl he has always loved.

Charlotte is lonely and often courted by just one man, Canada’s Prime Minister played by a zero-perception Alexander Skarsgaard with a synthetic smile. Flarsky makes a fuss about all of Charlotte’s do-gooder environmental policies, but he’s at least brash in a fun, lift the tempo of the room sort of way. Flarsky has been the only guy of late that has made Charlotte feel her own pulse. The first kiss between them is one of those irresistible surprisingly not awkward things that had to happen in a movie like this.

“Long Shot” does swing for credibility in the politics department, enough so that it endears to be a comedy with a brain. But the movie, with as many zingers as it has, is just smart enough without ever going for Aaron Sorkin writing level distinction. We get lots of tidbits of smart concepts and tidbits of what a candidate would go through on a day to day basis — there’s also a lot of diplomatic stops in various countries — but it’s just tidbits after tidbits of smarts. I sometimes wanted the movie to slow down and invest more intelligence and topicality in its scenes. Issues, by the way, on immigration or income inequality are avoided. Political comedies in the past have covered even less with weaker material (“Speechless,” “My Fellow Americans,” “The Campaign”), but we also have had political movies that have aimed much higher (“Dave,” “The American President” written by Sorkin).

By the second half, the movie is more or less concerned with how these two are going to carry on with their secret relationship. Charlotte lets Flarsky do more than just kissing with her, and this being something of a vulgar comedy you’d expect from the 21st century, it contains one of those graphic gross-out moments you’d expect from a modern comedy. Flarsky having a private moment that involves his privates might go viral? A little much. I stopped smiling from thereon, and I felt I was never in love with the movie after that when it came down to it. But it does make a few good arguments that we should allow our political hopefuls have a private life where they can love, go dancing, party, joke with the public, without feeling they are being scrutinized under a glass on every bitty thing. The best laughs came early, I won’t be including this on my next Valentine’s Day rewatch list, but I felt I was amused enough by “Long Shot” especially by Rogen’s infectious and eternal schoolboy crush for the ever-graceful Theron who wears classiness and power exceedingly well for this role.

Also with Bob Odenkirk as a boob for the current President, June Diane Raphael plays the spiky advisor who would prefer a don’t-date policy, O’Shea Jackson plays the shoulder to cry on best friend, Andy Serkis is a craven media mogul.

125 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “Working Girl” (1988); “Dave” (1993); “Speechless” (1994); “The American President” (1995).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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