By: Jessica Goddard
Could a beautiful, successful, Type A presidential hopeful like Charlize Theron’s Charlotte fall in love with a slovenly, jobless, political cynic like Seth Rogen’s Fred? Long Shot is wholly predictable in both its conclusion to this question, and in how it gets us there. From the standard drug-fuelled escapade we’ve come to anticipate once per Seth Rogen film, to the “maybe if one day he shows up in nicer clothes she’ll start falling in love with him” approach, this rom-com phones it in.
The premise is that Charlotte Field, the US Secretary of State hoping to become president, used to babysit Fred Flarsky – now an out-of-work activist journalist – when they were teenagers. They were friendly enough at the time, but a particularly embarrassing teenage mishap stands out in Fred’s mind during a chance encounter at a party in present day, and Fred assumes Charlotte wouldn’t have an interest in catching up. But her security team calls him over anyway, and the two reconnect. After reading Fred’s impassioned articles, it occurs to Charlotte that his energy and talents could be just what her campaign needs to rejuvenate her brand and connect with voters, so Fred is hired as her speechwriter, and joins her team in their world travels. The two get closer and closer, and the rest is completely what you expect.
There is some attempt to include political satire, but of course, the overtly idiot president surrounded by an impressive staff is a trope by now. As is the idea that Charlotte, the Sturdy Female Politician, comes across as cold and robotic, only for that to melt away as soon as she realizes she’s found “the one”.
There’s nothing especially new, interesting, or exciting about this movie, and it’s a long shot anyone will remember it a year from now.
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Jessica Goddard: @TheJGod