Released May 3rd
“Long Shot” is a classic Rom-Com. It’s a refreshing film viewing detour in the age of mindboggling comic book adventures and otherworldly epics. The movie is also an excellent commentary on the tendency to lose one’s moral compass to the art of posing, and to become a crowd-driven image of that you believe others want to see, i.e. social media and politics. The characters not so loosely mirror dignitaries and public figures in the headlines today, with direct and veiled parallels.
Charlize Theron gives an excellent performance as Secretary of State Charlotte Fields, who has assumed an elegant yet distant persona as she makes the decision to run for president of the United States. Charlotte has the commanding posture of Selina Meyer in TV’s Veep at first, with some added regal qualities, though she does not employ Selina’s constant venomous commentary. Enter journalist Fred Flarsky, played with self-effacing sincerity by Seth Rogen. Fred has zero ambition toward greatness and seems to own only a couple of sweatshirts and a pair of jeans. However he stays true to himself at all costs, and this begins to rub off on Charlotte as an unlikely romance plays out – hence the title of the movie, which applies both to the romance and to Charlotte’s campaign to be this country’s first woman president.
Will Charlotte have the courage to champion her true ideals for the world’s future rather than lose them to a thirst for celebrity, power and money? Can she preserve her respect for the people of her country and for the wellbeing of our planet? At first she waivers in the face of political pressure. However Fred keeps her on message. This attraction of personality opposites becomes a positive relationship for the candidate – and it’s heartening to see a political figure that listens.
The always-excellent Alexander Skarsgard is hilarious as the Canadian Prime Minister. To me the highlight of the movie is a wonderful well-written scene that shows Theron’s comedic skill, when her character, the Secretary of State, in a compromised mental state and missing all sense of inhibition, takes the reins and talks down an angry, antagonistic world leader about a hostage he is holding. Her unexpected candor takes him by surprise, eroding his histrionics, and she reaches his sense of humanity.