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article imageReview: There’s only an outside chance ‘Long Shot’ won’t make you laugh Special

By Sarah Gopaul     May 4, 2019 in Entertainment
‘Long Shot’ is one of the smartest, most engaging and funniest rom coms to hit theatres in some time and it stars two amazing people.
While it can sometimes feel like a new relationship begins in a vacuum, eventually all the external factors that felt unimportant come crashing in. This is especially true for public personalities who may have enjoyed stealing away for an intimate evening, and keeping something shielded from the scrutiny of cameras and onlookers — but at some point, the secrecy becomes just another burden that is actually in their control. This realization leads to another question: is it just a casual thing you can both walk away from now, or do you step out of the shadows and find out where things might go? Now imagine one of these people is a politician and you get Long Shot.
Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is America’s youngest Secretary of State and she is killing it. When the president (Bob Odenkirk) decides he won’t seek a second term, she seizes the opportunity to pursue the nomination for the next election. Her PR firm has run the numbers and they’re all good, except her sense of humour. Therefore, they need to hire a speechwriter that can convince the American public she can be smart and funny. Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a political journalist who happens to have grown up next door to Charlotte and is recently unemployed. A chance meeting sets the wheels in motion and soon they’re travelling the world to secure support for Charlotte’s global environmental plan, which will in turn launch her run.
Politics and romance don’t seem like a winning combination, but this movie does an exceptional job of making it work. Most of the humour is drawn from the former as they hilariously parody the misogynistic pundits at Fox News, portray a president who was a TV personality and is still obsessed with show business, and capture the absurdity a woman in a position of power faces. The romantic element includes a lot of witty and occasionally crude banter between Charlotte and Fred, whose friendship gradually evolves into something more. Theron and Rogen have excellent chemistry, making their exchanges feel genuine. Consequently, they’re a likeable couple the audience enjoys watching and wants to see together — even if they don’t poll as well as the Canadian prime minister, amusingly played with a mix of headline making charm and regional stereotypes by Alexander Skarsgård.
The film is sharp and never loses sight of the main story, which is about a woman who hopes to become the next president of the United States. Political compromise and blatant sexism is at the forefront, but it’s naturally woven throughout the narrative. Charlotte navigates inappropriate interview questions; pushy, close-talking business owners with deep pockets and friends in high places (Andy Serkis); off-topic media scrutiny; and the knowledge that any mistake by Fred would ultimately be blamed on her. Even though characters repeatedly remind each other she has to be more vigilant because she’s a woman, it’s already obvious from the way she’s treated that that’s the case. Yet, one of the most amusing scenes unfolds when Charlotte finally decides to check recreational drug use off her bucket list and an international incident occurs, requiring her to prove if she really can do it all.
The movie is a surprise entry for this time of year, but it rises to the top of the non-blockbuster offerings.
Director: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen and June Diane Raphael
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