“Long Shot” is a very refreshing comedy. Not only is it unafraid to hold the mirror up to the current political climate with a good dose of wit and even thoughtfulness, but it offers great laughs from start to finish.
Journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) and Secretary of State Charlotte Chambers (Charlize Theron) cross paths with a mutual need for each other (as well as familiarity with each other from childhood), and sparks fly. But they are completely different in terms of their lifestyles, personal image and even some beliefs, which may jeopardize what appears to be an incredible relationship between the two.
Theron further elevates a comedy that is already fantastically written and hilariously performed by everyone else involved. She can effortlessly play the sort of depth of character required for Charlotte, who is a cunning politician but freaking hilarious when brought out of her political persona. Rogen complements her well and is funny as always, adding plenty of his own goofy-guy charm and (probably) plenty of his improv comedy.
But there is a word of caution to some more sensitive viewers: Between the lines, this movie is anti-Trump and anti-Fox News/Breitbart/InforWars. It’s not hard to see the parallels between Bob Odenkirk’s president in the film (a sort of cross between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump), and Andy Serkis’ media mogul (a bizarre combination of Steve Bannon and Harvey Weinstein).
Fred is quite left-leaning, while Charlotte is environmentally progressive yet bipartisan — though she is quietly disgusted with the president she has to serve, especially if she wants his endorsement for a future election.
“Long Shot” also serves as a great observation of the hurdles for women in politics, poking a great bit at the double standard in terms of their image and how people perceive women as opposed to male candidates. How this film manages to be so honest and blunt while being so all-around funny is truly an achievement, and if you can get beyond any political messages you might not personally agree with, there’s no reason the movie can’t be enjoyable. There’s also a theme of compromise, as Fred, who is very left-leaning and steadfast in his moral beliefs, struggles with the negotiation and “reaching across the aisle” that Charlotte’s job requires of her.
Between the two stars and the writing, “Long Shot” is a memorable romantic comedy that would make either a great date night or a lazy day on the couch. It is one of the funniest films of the year so far, and definitely one of this critic’s personal favorites (again, so far).
The biggest shame is that it came out the week after “Avengers: Endgame” and will probably fly far under the radar for all of us who have the Marvel fever at the moment. But if you already have seen “Endgame,” check out “Long Shot.” Even with its political stance, it’s a must-see comedy and will brighten your mood more than it will rile you up.
* * *
“Long Shot” is currently playing at the Riverside Cinemas, 1017 S. Boone St. in Aberdeen.
George Haerle holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing for media and lives in Cosmopolis.