Every once in awhile, a sleeper hit arrives that just puts you in a great mood. Long Shot is that film – a laugh-out-loud comedy that frequently hits the high notes, is blessed with an incredible ensemble, and has a story with genuine heart. It’s also a surprise contender for the best rom-com of 2019, thanks to a sharp script that sparkles with chemistry.
The incredible Charlize Theron proves yet again that she is the best actress of her generation, this time playing Charlotte Field who is looking to run for President of the United States. She hires speech-writer Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), whom she used to babysit back in her teens, and together they traverse the political landscape – potentially finding love along the way too.
Hilarious and heartfelt, Long Shot is an unmissable gem and easily the best comedy of the year. It defies the odds and actually delivers a story that resonates through believable characters. This could all have gone wrong very easily, but both Theron and Rogen have added genuine warmth to their characters which comes across onscreen. Their coupling feels natural and is very easy to champion throughout the movie. Dress that up with laugh-out-loud comedy and some hilarious circumstance and you have a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
Charlize Theron is the most adaptable A-lister in Hollywood. Seamlessly transitioning from bawdy comedies to action-packed blockbusters and hard-hitting dramas, there’s nothing that seems to faze her. We are lucky to have her in the world of movies and her work on Long Shot is nothing short of sublime. Seth Rogen is a dependable name in this genre but he also manages to add considerable heart to his character of Fred. There’s actual character-progression here – something not often found in comedies, and Rogen clearly looks like he relished the chance to add substance to the role.
The supporting cast are all solid. An unrecognisable Andy Serkis is great as the hilariously named Parker Wembley, an old media tycoon looking to gain political leverage for his business ventures. Bob Odenkirk is hilarious as the sitting President, who was an actor who played a president before getting into office. It’s great situation-comedy that conjures up some wonderfully funny moments.
Ravi Patel and June Diane Raphael do well as Charlotte’s aides and Alexander Skarsgård steals his scenes as Canadian Prime Minister James Steward. The pick of the bunch though is O’Shea Jackson Jr. who is fantastic as Fred’s best friend Lance. He’s so funny in every scene and is an ever-present force to lay down some truth bombs to Fred, whilst also psyching him up when he needs it.
Director Jonathan Levine has also shot this film remarkably well. This is something that often goes unnoticed in romantic comedies but Levine has really done some exceptional work here, especially when capturing the more intimate moments between Charlotte and Fred. This is also where Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah’s sharp and savvy script comes into play beautifully. They both marry up to create some genuine magic. On top of that the music is amazing – from Boyz to Men actually appearing in the film to a touching ode to Roxette and my particular favourite scene involving Charlotte and Fred being evacuated to safety with Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ perfectly capturing the moment.
Long Shot is an utter joy and a film that deserves a huge audience as it’s a rom-com that’s both genuinely funny and romantic. With amazing writing and directing and an incredible ensemble led by Theron and Rogen, this is exactly the type of antidote we need for these troubled times. Do yourselves a favour and see it because it’s not often we get such a win in the romantic comedy department.
Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, O’Shea Jackson, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Ravi Patel, Alexander Skarsgård, Andy Serkis Director: Jonathan Levine Writer: Dan Sterling, Liz Hannah Certificate: 15 Duration: 125mins Released by: Lionsgate Release date: 3rd May 2019