“Do you, like, date?” asks Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen). “Who wants to follow me around the world and hope I have five minutes to be affectionate?” replies Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), the Secretary of State who has her eye on the presidency in the romantic comedy, Long Shot.
Flarsky is a free-spirited investigative reporter who’s recently become unemployed after the small independent newspaper he writes for is bought by a big conglomerate news company. Looking to be cheered up, he meets up and tags along with his successful best friend, Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), to a fancy high-profile party. It’s at this party that Flarsky and Field wind up reconnecting.
The candidate for president spots him and realizes she knows this guy from somewhere. Flarsky reminds her they were neighbors and she used to babysit him all those years ago when he was 13 and she was 16.
The day following their random encounter, Field takes a look at some of Flarsky’s news articles. Her campaign could use a little punching up in the speech department, and Charlotte informs her staff she wants to hire Fred as her new speech writer.
The very unlikely pair get to know each other better as they travel the world together while Charlotte campaigns and prepares to push through her bill to help the environment. Sparks start flying between this odd couple, leading to an unexpected and possibly career-ending romance.
Long Shot tries its hand at being a slapstick romantic comedy but fails due to its dumb, crude humor as well as its two stars having zero chemistry. Charlize Theron gives a solid performance as Field, a shining star in politics working to take over the Oval Office and become the first woman president. Theron captures her drive and passion well. It’s when she tries to be funny and comedic instead of the straight woman to Rogen’s comic antics that her scenes come off as forced and, even worse, not funny.
Seth Rogen never disappears into the character of Flarsky, a drug using, immature, and rude journalist who never got over his teenage crush on Field. The writers apparently believed using curse words in every other sentence would sell Rogen’s character as an edgy reporter.
The movie does have a few laugh-out-loud moments but unfortunately they’re few and far between. Rogen still doesn’t know when to end a gag and the constant use of one particular curse word simply shows the lack of creative writing needed for a truly entertaining romantic comedy.
Long Shot is a dull, uneven comedy with few laughs. It’s filled with vulgar, adolescent humor and missing any kind of romantic vibe or substance.
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, language throughout and some drug use
Release Date: May 3, 2019
Running Time: 115 minutes
Directed By: Jonathan Levine