This review contains spoilers.
“Long Shot” is a romantic comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen. Yes, you heard that right. The unlikely duo play Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Theron) and her speech writer Fred Flarsky (Rogen), who fall in love with each other. Surprisingly, the chemistry between the two leads carries the movie.
After an coincidental meeting at a party, Field hires childhood friend Flarsky to write her speeches as she promotes a game-changing piece of environmental legislation around the globe. She is also preparing for a presidential run.
The film is directed by Jonathan Levine, known for raunchy comedies and romances such as “Snatched” (2017) and “The Night Before” (2015) with Seth Rogen. Rogen plays his usual self-deprecating, immature firestorm and this juvenile tone becomes tiresome as the romance between Theron and Rogen heats up. Theron, an Academy Award-winning actor, often seems out of place as she attempts to conform to the slapstick elements of the script.
In order to enjoy “Long Shot,” one has to throw all logic and reason out the window. Half political satire, half off-the-rails rom-com, the viewer must believe that the secretary of state could save a political prisoner after partying for hours on Molly.
This brings us to one of the fatal flaws of the film: it doesn’t know what it wants to be. At times a heartwarming romance and others a snarky take on capitalism, genuine moments between the leads are ruined by tasteless jokes. When Field and Flarsky have sex for the first time, they last a minute, with Flarsky claiming he normally only lasts this long. The building tension between the leads is turned into a farce at this moment, as the film lacks the ability to address sex and relationships in a mature manner. The political irony also flounders, with the ending of the film oddly promoting social conservatism, despite its earlier arguments against corporate injustice.
That’s not to say that “Long Shot” isn’t entertaining, and at times, laugh-out-loud funny; but you’ll forget about it tomorrow.