This ‘Long Shot’ pays off

By Paul Hall

Political campaigns have been at the center of so many different films over the years. In the new film Long Shot, the campaign trail takes a romantic turn for a single candidate for the highest office in the land.

Our newest candidate for the presidency is Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron). She’s an accomplished secretary of state, and her boss is not running again because he aspires to go back and make movies. Yes, President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk) is more interested in his brand than being a two-term president.

As Charlotte hits the campaign trail, she has one area that needs some punching up: her likability index. To that end, she stumbles across a now unemployed writer whom she just happens to know. That writer is Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), and he has a bit of an edge to what he does. It may not be the perfect fit for the campaign, but Charlotte feels she can trust Fred to help write her speeches.

What Charlotte doesn’t know about Fred is that he has had a crush on her since she was a teenager and thinks the world of her. Together they hit the campaign trail, Charlotte playing the political games to get legislation moved through and Fred being idealistic at every turn with no understanding of the reality of the situation. Can these two seemingly different paths be joined and a relationship formed amid the high pressure of politics?

Since I first saw Theron do comedy in Trial and Error in 1997, I’ve felt she has it. And she has done nothing but reinforce that observation at every turn. Although she’s seemingly more likely to be cast in dramatic roles, comedy fits her just fine, thanks. Theron effortlessly floats from “Charlotte as the prospective nominee for her party” to “Charlotte attending a rave” and back, all the while being a likable and large presence in this film. Rogen delivers some insanely crass moments that feel slightly out of place; however, as a whole, they tend to work more often than not. Much of this film feels ripped from the headlines of what life would be like for a single presidential candidate, reiterating some of the petty questions that still are posed to women everywhere, but in the end this film is packed with a heart.

I liked Long Shot and feel that an adult audience can really enjoy their time here, no matter their political view. And this can bring us all a bit closer in this bitterly divided environment.

This Long Shot pays off and gives us hope for the future.

Paul’s Grade: B

Long Shot

Rated R

Stars: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, June Diane Raphael

Director: Jonathan Levine

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