"Seth Rogen's new movie made me believe in love again and I'm pretty upset about it."

It has always been my belief that male writers play a part in creating romantic comedies for the sole purpose of building fictional worlds where schlubby men easily win over startling beautiful but uptight women with the pure power of their personalities.

It’s a trend that’s been in place for decades and has featured everyone from Seth Rogen playing opposite Kathrine Heigl (Knocked Up) Jason Segal charming Mila Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Adam Sandler teaming up with Drew Barrymore (more movies than I’m willing to give space to here, but you get the idea).

So when I sat down to watch Long Shot, the new comedy starring serial schlubby rom-com leading man Seth Rogen and the brilliant but often underused Charlize Theron, I thought I knew exactly what I was in for. I was more than ready and willing to open fire on the overused stereotypes that were once again being thrust into a watered down rom-con format.

But once the credits rolled my hackles had well and truly come down and despite my initial doubts, I had fallen for Long Shot hook, line and sinker.

In Long Shot, Rogan plays Fred Flarsky, a clever but recently unemployed journalist who has a penchant for putting himself on the line for a story while still dressing like a messy teenager who refuses to clean his bedroom. Thanks to a chance interaction at a fancy party, he reunites with his former childhood babysitter and longtime crush Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who is now the fiercely successful Secretary of State who plans to announce her run for President.

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen have incredible chemistry in Long Shot. Source: Studiocanal.

The only thing standing in the way of her getting the job is the fact that the public doesn't find her quite engaging or funny enough to give her a proper edge in the race. So after reading Fred's writing online, she decides he's the person she needs on her team in order to make her speeches a little bit more entertaining for public consumption.


What works so spectacularly well in Long Shot is that not only is the chemistry between Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron palpable on the screen, but they also excellently lean into these well-trodden and stereotypical characters while also quietly subverting them.

Charlize's Charlotte is not just an uptight beauty who needs Fred's help to loosen her up and show her the error of her ways, but a well-rounded and complex woman who everyone else on screen acknowledges is the most competent among them. She's also honest about being a workaholic, micro napping while standing up on a moving jet and becoming enthralled in Game of Thrones solely by reading the Wikipedia plot entries each week, but never apologising for it or changing her fundamental personality because she's actually running a country and has shit to do.

She's also thankfully given some of the biggest and most successful comedic swings in the movie while Fred's character takes a back seat. There's one especially snort-laugh inducing scene where Charlotte, whose has just indulged in some heavy drug taking for the first time, is unfortunately called into a high-pressure work emergency where she has to negotiate a hostage situation under the watchful eye of the military.

Also peppering the movie with genuine laughs are low-level jokes about drugs, a whole bunch of toilet humour, and more than one or two quips about masturbation (all building toward an unfortunate scene with Seth Rogen, a video camera and some lubricant...I'll leave the rest to your imagination until you see the film).


But with all the broad humour playing out on screen, you also can't help but get swept away with these characters as they genuinely seem to fall for each other. To the point where their first sex scene feels completely earnt thanks to the clever character and chemistry build-up...even if it's over within a matter of seconds.

The pairing of these two characters is still a little unrealistic, but that's also acknowledged many times throughout the film, and it still takes a backseat to the overall character arcs presented in Long Shot.

Fred may still be the schlubby and loveable male character, but Charlotte is a welcome new leading lady addition to the rom-com world and that makes all the difference.

Long Shot is now playing in cinemas Australia-wide, it is rated M.

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