President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk) has decided to not seek reelection so he can pursue a movie career. He has decided to endorse his Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron). Charlotte is planning a tour to meet with world leaders in hopes of getting them to sign on to her new environmental initiative. Once enough countries have signed on, she plans to announce her 2020 presidential run. In preparation for the trip, her aides Maggie (June Diane Raphael) and Tom (Ravi Patel) suggest hiring a writer to punch up her speeches to raise her polling when it comes to her sense of humor.
Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) writes for a small newspaper. He isn’t known for his restraint, going to extremes to get stories that expose things like Neo-Nazi groups. After quitting his job, Fred happens to run into Charlotte at a party thanks in part to by his best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.). Against Maggie’s recommendations, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter.
After catching up, Charlotte used to babysit Fred, they get to work preparing her speeches. The more time they spend together, the closer they get. Fearing it may hurt her chances running for president, Maggie raises her concerns about the optics of Charlotte and Fred dating. Can Fred help push through Charlotte’s environmental plan and help her become the first woman president, or will he be too much of a liability?
I know what you’re thinking. The film’s title, Long Shot, seems a little too on the nose with the concept of Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen becoming a couple. At first glance, you would be right. However, as you go through the movie, the chemistry between Theron and Rogen feels natural. There is nothing forced here. It is Rogen’s unique charm and sense of humor that wins over Theron’s character. It’s easy to see how this could happen. Despite her drive and ambition, it is his unpolished personality that she needs in her life. June Diane Raphael and Ravi Patel round out the leads, adding their own styles of comedy. Theron has shown she can master both drama and action. She has now shown she can hold her own with some of the best in comedy.
While the story isn’t exactly unique, it is the journey that makes Long Shot so enjoyable. With helpings of biting political satire, romance, and comedy, it is a good mix that updates the typical fish out of water trope we’ve seen so many times. Of course, being a Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg movie, there is the obligatory drug-fueled romp. This time, Theron takes the scene and runs with it and absolutely nails it.
It may not be the massive summer blockbuster that has been dominating theaters lately, but Long Shot doesn’t fall short of hitting all the right notes. If you need a good laugh, make sure you check this one out in theaters.