There’s been so much great stuff on TV and Netflix lately that I’ve kind of been neglecting the cinema a little bit. Therefore, I’ve told Mark that this month we need to catch up a little and make up for lost time. With the sun coming out and the weather warming up, there’s nothing better than a feel-good comedy to make your day.
Long Shot tells the story of Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), an opinionated journalist with an almost two-dimensional view of the world, who quits his job at a small independent newspaper once he finds out they have been bought out by Webley Media, a big corporate company owned by the greedy and somewhat disgusting, Parker Wembley (Andy Serkis).
In a bid to raise his spirits, Flarsky’s best friend, Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr) takes him to a swanky charity benefit, where a chance encounter with his old babysitter, Charlotte Fields (Charlize Theron), leads to a new job offer. It just so happens that Charlotte is the Secretary of State and is about to launch an environmental initiative that will springboard the start of her presidential campaign.
As the metaphorical fish-out-of-water, Fred needs to quickly learn how to fit into Charlotte’s team whilst navigating the world of politics, where playing the game is essential for success and image is everything.
Whilst the film is likeable enough, it follows the rather stereotypical structure of a romantic comedy which leaves the viewer feeling a little ‘been there, done that’. No disrespect to director, Jonathan Levine but this could have been elevated to a whole other level had someone like Judd Apatow been at the helm.
As a bit of a Seth Rogen fan, I quite enjoyed his performance as the romantic lead, however even I can admit that he does tend to play a very similar character in every one of his films. If you are not that big of a fan of his, then you may find this film a little stale.
Unlike some of his other films (Knocked Up, anyone!), Rogen’s onscreen chemistry with Charlize Theron is believable and , despite their social differences, the relationship is actually satisfying and plausible. I think this is in large part due to the brilliance of Theron. She is such a versatile actress, who doesn’t take herself too seriously, and that translates very well to the screen.
Supporting Rogen and Theron is a great cast, including June Diane Raphael as Claire’s assistant, Maggie; Alexander Skarsgard as the Canadian Prime Minister and led by the chameleon that is Andy Serkis as media mogul, Parker Wembley.
Whilst this is a bit a stereotypical romantic comedy at its heart, there is a feminist undercurrent that is strong but not too forceful. It feels like a natural thread within the film, not something that has been included because it is politically correct to do so.
Overall, this is not a film that is going to win any awards but the story is good, the laughs are consistent and you will leave the cinema with a smile on your face. As always though, don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourselves. Have you already seen it? Let me know what you think?