Film Review: Long Shot

09:30 May 06, 2019
By: Fritz Esker

Director Jonathan Levine's new comedy, Long Shot, is a charming odd-couple romance between stars Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron.

Theron plays the U.S. Secretary of State (to a vapid celebrity president played by Bob Odenkirk), and Rogen plays an overly aggressive journalist. But when they were kids, Theron babysat Rogen. One evening at a party, they meet again. Theron asks Rogen to be her speechwriter, and eventually, the sparks fly.

Many romantic comedies rise and fall on the intangible chemistry between the leads. Rogen and Theron work well together here. Theron usually has a cool, calm screen presence, and Rogen's persona is typically one of an exuberant man-child. They balance each other nicely in Long Shot.

The film's other strength is its script by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah, which actually feels like a real screenplay. All too often in modern comedies, the end result feels like they got everyone on set, turned the camera on, and said, "Be funny." While the film doesn't qualify as a character study (most romantic comedies don't), it does feel like writers actually sat down and created these characters and gave them arcs, which is a relative rarity in the genre.

At 125 minutes, Long Shot runs a bit long (a sequence where the two leads get high could probably be jettisoned), but that is a minor complaint. If you're looking to dodge the crowds seeing Avengers: Endgame for the third time, this is worth a look.

*** stars (out of four)

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