When Fred Flarsky reunites with his first crush, one of the most influential women in the world, Charlotte Field, he charms her. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter and sparks fly.
On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM. - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam.
Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free-spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is one of the most influential women in the world. Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she's a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for...well, mostly everything. The two have nothing in common, except that she was his babysitter and childhood crush. When Fred unexpectedly reconnects with Charlotte, he charms her with his self-deprecating humor and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte impulsively hires Fred as her speechwriter, much to the dismay of her trusted advisors. A fish out of water on Charlotte's elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamourous lifestyle in the limelight. However, sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents.
Seth Rogan and O'Shea Jackson, Jr. play college roommates. In real life, Rogan is nine years older than Jackson. See more »
In the first exterior shot of the Secretary's plane on the way to Sweden an airborne 747 is shown. The exterior scene upon exiting the plane shows what is likely a 767 or 777. The distinctive hump of a 747 is gone. See more »
Long Shot is a comedy featuring the 'out-there' journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogan) who has been holding a candle for the glacial ice-queen Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) for nearly twenty years. At the age of 16 she was his babysitter. Always with an interest in school issues, she has now risen to the dizzy heights of secretary ("of State") to the President of the United States (Bob Odenkirk). With Charlotte getting the opportunity to run for President, fate arranges for Fred to get hired as a speechwriter on the team to help inject some necessary humour into Charlotte's icy public persona. But in terms of romantic options, the shell-suited Fred is surely #punching isn't he?
Getting the balance right for a "romantic comedy" is a tricky job, but "Long Shot" just about gets it spot on. The comedy is sharp with a whole heap of great lines, some of which will need a second watch to catch. It's also pleasingly politically incorrect, with US news anchors in particular being lampooned for their appallingly sexist language.
Just occasionally, the humour flips into Farrelly-levels of dubious taste (one "Mary-style" incident in particular was, for me, very funny but might test some viewer's "ugh" button). The film also earns its UK15 certificate from the extensive array of "F" words utilized, and for some casual drug use.
Romantically, the film harks back to a classic blockbuster of 1990, but is well done and touching.
The sharp and tight screenplay was written by Dan Sterling, who wrote the internationally controversial Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy "The Interview" from 2014, and Liz Hannah, whose movie screenplay debut was the Spielberg drama "The Post".
Behind the camera is Jonathan Levine, who previously directed the pretty awful "Snatched" from 2017 (a film I have started watching on a plane but never finished) but on the flip side he has on his bio the interesting rom-com-zombie film "Warm Bodies" and the moving cancer comedy "50:50", also with Rogan, from 2011.
Also worthy of note in the technical department is the cinematography by Yves Bélanger ("The Mule", "Brooklyn", "Dallas Buyers Club") with some lovely angles and tracking shots (a kitchen dance scene has an impressively leisurely track-away).
Seth Rogen is a bit of an acquired taste: he's like the US version of Johnny Vegas. Here he is suitably geeky when he needs to be, but has the range to make some of the pathos work in the inevitable "downer" scenes. Theron is absolutely gorgeous on-screen (although unlike the US anchors I OBVIOUSLY also appreciate her style and acting ability!). She really is the Grace Kelly of the modern age. She's no stranger to comedy, having been in the other Seth (Macfarlane)'s "A Million Ways to Die in the West". But she seems to be more comfortable with this material, and again gets the mix of comedy, romance and drama spot-on.
The strong supporting cast includes the unknown (to me) June Diane Raphael who is very effective at the cock-blocking Maggie, Charlotte's aide; O'Shea Jackson Jr. as Fred's buddy Lance; and Ravi Patel as the staffer Tom.
But winning the prize for the most unrecognizable cast member was Andy Serkis as the wizened old Rupert Murdoch-style media tycoon Parker Wembley: I genuinely got a shock as the titles rolled that this was him.
Although possibly causing offence to some, this is a fine example of a US comedy that delivers consistent laughs. Most of the audience chatter coming out of the screening was positive. At just over 2 hours, it breaks my "90 minute comedy" rule, but just about gets away with it. It's not quite for me at the bar of "Game Night", but it's pretty close. Recommended.
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