Rob Reviews "Long Shot"
May: the month that the Summer Movie Season picks up steam with everything from superheroes to animated toys to high octane action and a little something for just about everyone. When a romantic comedy is thrown into that mix, it tends to be a gamble by the studio that releases it. One way to look at it is that the amount of faith put in a film like this by the studio is pretty high, especially when a film like “The Night Before” and “The Wackness” director Jonathan Levine’s “Long Shot”.
Charlize Theron plays Charlotte Field, the Secretary of State who discovers that the former television star and current President (Bob Odenkirk) will not be seeking re-election so he can try to get a film career off the ground. She uses this information to get her own Presidential run up and running, and after running into a former neighbor she babysat in high school in Fred Flarksy (Seth Rogan) whom she makes her head speechwriter much to the chagrin of her two top aides in Maggie (June Diane Raphael) and Tom (Ravi Patel), a globe-trotting adventure and budding romance ensues, which complicates things for everyone involved.
It is no secret that this kind of role is what has made Seth Rogen famous: the weed smoking slacker who in his head is a world-changer that ends up broke and jobless who stumbles into something bigger than himself. But the thing about what Rogen does with these roles is that he simply makes them work. He knows the pocket and he stays in it, and I personally had no problem with it.
The really big surprise for me here is Theron. With last year’s “Gringo,” she showed some very interesting comedic chops, but here it is on full display. She balances the gravity that the role of one of the President’s top cabinet positions requires with the teenage girl with the wide eyes and ideals that lives within her totally on point and plays the comedic material brilliantly. And for those of you that are wondering about the chemistry here: don’t. They work VERY well together in that way that takes a premise that is so out there and made me think, “You know what? This COULD happen!”
Along with great turns by Raphael (whose husband and “How Did This Get Made?” co -host, Paul Scheer, are both in this film) and Patel rounding out a strong cast, even the craziest of premises (and not so well veiled shots at current circumstances) are made that much more fun to watch. So in the midst of saving the world, teaching kids lessons about friendships and early award pushes, this is a breath of fresh air that doesn’t even have to be a date night (ESPECIALLY if it is a first date… TRUST me on this) to enjoy, so put “Long Shot” on your list!