'Long Shot' is a sure bet for movie fun


If you’re looking for some counter-programming to escape the "Avengers: Endgame" hype, then the new romantic comedy "Long Shot" is pretty charming.

“Long Shot” doesn’t break the mold or re-invent the wheel when it comes to rom coms, but has its moments, is likable throughout and everybody on screen is clearly enjoying themselves. The “R” rating lets the film indulge in just enough raunch to give it an edge, but not get anybody too grossed out.

I saw this film in the newly renovated Marquee theater in New Hartford. The Marquee gave itself a really spiffy makeover, and the new cushioned and reclining seats are a vast improvement over the old theater seating. The new place is worth checking out.

“Long Shot” stars Charlize Theron as a sexy Charlize Theron-type who is serving as secretary of state and is eyeing a run for the presidency. Seth Rogen plays a schlubby Seth Rogen-type who gets hired on as her speech writer after they bump into each other at a party and remember that she used to be his babysitter when they were kids.

Romantic comedy shenanigans then ensue.

Both Theron and Rogen are very comfortable in their roles and have great chemistry on screen. They banter, they joke, they make each other laugh; it’s no surprise why they fall for each other romantically. The film is really grounded in that way. “Long Shot” doesn’t play its premise for farce.

It’s actually a bit surprising how little the film embraces the most obvious parts of its premise. The fact that Rogen is chubby and hairy and Theron is beautiful and sophisticated is not the main conflict of the film. Both characters are complex enough and developed enough that they put actual thought into their romantic interests; their attraction and the story around it is not just skin deep.

If there’s any drawback to “Long Shot”, it’s that the story doesn’t go far enough into the interesting presidency angle. Theron’s character is considering a run for the presidency — as the first female president — but the movie does not take place during her campaign. “Long Shot” takes place during the run-up to her announcement. It’s a minor quibble, but a presidential campaign would have had more narrative oomph than what the movie settles for instead.

“Long Shot” is a charming and funny romantic comedy with likable leads and an interesting enough story to be worth a trip to the theater.


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