Comedy film director Jonathan Levine (50/50, 2011) manages to nicely mix raunchy humor, awkward attraction, and watered-down political ambition. Established comedic actor Seth Rogen (The Disaster Artist, 2017) plays an over-zealous political journalist who quits his job and finds himself recruited by the U.S. Secretary of State (a noble Charlize Theron, Atomic Blonde, 2017) as a speechwriter. But the Secretary of State happens to be the journalist's childhood babysitter he was in love with.
Along the global trail of diplomat receptions and exclusive dinners with foreign leaders, the bumbling journalist and the elegant politician stumble gradually toward desire, sex, political understanding, and more. While the premise is clever, the gawky romance between the 2 leading characters is not realistic. We've seen this kind of premise before, pairing an unattractive (but funny) man with a beautiful alluring (thin) woman who miraculously finds love with each other. Remember Just Go with It (2011), Hitch (2005), or Zack and Miri Make a Porno? (2008)? Thankfully, placing Long Shot in a political setting (and not shying away from foul-mouthed, bawdy humor) helps the story feel like more than a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy.
Long Shot has some nice moments of dialogue that are funny, obscene, relatable, and timely (especially considering the current political climate for women). Lots of movie viewers know Seth Rogen can be silly and self-deprecating, and he still shows great comedic chops. But Charlize Theron is a brilliantly pleasant surprise in a role we're not used to seeing her play. As a female navigating the stress, sexism, and compromises of current-day politics, her performance is interesting, fun, and amusing. Everything a good comedy should be.
Long Shot is not a huge triumph, but I still laughed out loud a few times.