Long Shot review
Alone, the names of Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron arose memories of particular genres of film. They each excel in their film path, creating a body of work that showcases their talents. However, in Jonathan Levin’s new comedy, Long Shot, Rogen and Theron are the two leads, and while the initial reaction might be befuddlement, this could not have been a better pairing. The movie is fantastic in utilizing the rough humor of Rogen and the elegance of Theron to create a multi-layered film that goes beyond your typical romantic comedy.
In Long Shot, a no-filtered, nonconformist journalist, Fred Flarsky (Rogen), quits his job when his publication gets bought out by a media mogul. At his lowest moment fate, and a with sensei-type guidance from his best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson, Jr), intervenes causing Fred to reunited with his first crush. The problem is, Charlotte Field (Theron) just so happens to be the US Secretary of State.
With the casting of Rogen, you know what type of comedy you are going to watch. Rogen’s great at his certain set of comedy skills and they are on full display from the very beginning. However, the Rogen humor in Long Shot was a breath of matured fresh air. The irreverent comedy present in the film now has a deep meaning behind each moment. You can sense there is a reason behind the gag instead of playing for the audience. There is a depth to the comedy, which translates to a well-defined and interesting character in Fred.
That depth continues into permeate to the supporting characters, especially with the always fabulous June Diane Raphael. The casting was fantastic, and while most of them have worked together before, they continue to play off each others strengths in the grownup setting of politics. There is never a scene where one character shines over the other, which makes the entire film a well-oiled machine.
Theron also fits perfectly into this equation. She may not be known for her comedy chops, but working alongside some of this generations standout talent, she radiates. The same can be said for the reverse, Theron doesn’t have to work too hard to bring forth a meaningful and impactful scene, and with her presence, Rogen surprises the audiences with his heart. You may be shocked at the beginning, but by the end of the film your surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.
I went a bit blind into this film, not really knowing anything about it other than it being a new comedy with this unlikely pair. For me, this was a good thing as I am normally avoid romantic comedies. Until seeing the actual classification as a romantic comedy, I didn’t think of it that way. The thing is, though, that this movie’s rom-com structure if visible throughout the film. It hits all the marks it needs to create a good film, and what makes it a great film is the fact that those bull’s eye were not obvious.
The characters are so true, so powerful in their depth of conviction that the audience becomes completely invested in their journey. It’s not about waiting for the next big laguh, and instead the laughs intensify the story itself. Long Shot is a love story with comedic elements intertwined between the important moments of these character’s interactions. Because of this, the audience can’t turn away from the film and isn’t pay attention to cliche structure that surrounds them.
Above all of that, above the interesting and fun characters that are created by great actors, the thing that has stuck with me since the viewing is the political element in the story. Fred is non-flinching in his convictions for justice, and at times that comes across, in polite terms, as disagreeable. While it does provide a type of antagonist in the film, it’s also something a young audience, the ones who grew up with Rogen, can relate to.
Fans of his have been with him from his Freaks and Geeks days and now follow him to Long Shot, maturing and experience the world in all is trauma along the way. For some, we share Fred’s idealized viewpoint of the world, this passionate idea that believes and responsibilities should stand above other’s influence. This conflict with reality and the path we take to acceptance is one more example of the multi-facets within Long Shot. This film proves that its possible to be slap-stick funny and earnest, and its possible to be staunch about your believes but confidants with the other side.
Whether you are looking for a comedy to escape into to or a romantic-comedy to fall in love with, Long Shot is a film that will fulfill your movie needs. It’s an enjoyable film for all, and one that should eventually be added to any collection. It also would hurt to pay attention to a scene at the end between Fred and Lance. While it may be played for laughs, it’s a powerful conversation. If we all just deflate our own balloons a little bit, we might learn something.
Long Shot opens nation wide today.
Written by Lisa M Mejia
Images provided by Lionsgate