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FILM REVIEW: Long Shot

3 May 2019

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FILM REVIEW: Long Shot

Charlotte Field is one of the most influential women in the world.  Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she’s a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for…well, mostly everything. Fred Flarsky is a gifted and free spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. The two have nothing in common, except that she was his babysitter and first crush. When Fred unexpectedly reconnects with Charlotte, he charms her with his self-deprecating humor and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter, much to the dismay of her trusted advisors.

Director: Jonathan Levine
Year: 2019
Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ravi Patel, Andy Serkis, Alexander Skarsgård
Language: English
Runtime: 120min
Rating: M18


Review by Jean Wong

Long Shot may first appear like your typical romcom, but stick with it a little longer and it starts to show its individual appeal. What makes Long Shot unique is the modern themes of feminism surfacing amongst the political threads that  — and this might surprise you — work well in a romantic comedy.

At one point, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) says to Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), “Guys don’t really want to date women who are more powerful than them.” This might be the basis that Long Shot operates on. But it isn’t just that Charlotte is in a much higher position than Fred — it’s also that Fred is (or at least appears to be) a scruffy and boorish man, where Charlotte is the picture of elegance.

Director Jonathan Levine makes this doubtful pairing work by making sure both leads have space to grow. And by the end of the film, they do grow. Charlotte — with the help of Fred — learns that sometimes it’s more important to stand up for themselves and to fight for what they want, while Fred learns that compromise is occasionally a necessary step.

Romance movies are neither Theron’s nor Rogen’s specialty. And yet, they are able to bring across this unlikely love story well. The development of their romance feels a little glazed over at times, but that does not strip away the joy of going along on the ride. Theron and Rogen both step into their contrasting roles seamlessly while still managing to make it believable that romance would blossom between the two.

Beyond the smooth acting and great direction, the writing also shines through in this film. Packed full of hilarious jokes that make you laugh at every turn, Long Shot never has a dull moment. While the film can be a tad dramatic at points, it works well with the overall spunky tone of the movie. You might think that you’d know how the story would unfold — until Long Shot surprises you with small but unexpected plot twists that keep you on your toes.

With its atypical love story and its humour done right, Long Shot is certainly a great romantic-comedy that can capture the hearts of its viewers. It’s a beautiful reminder that both romance and politics function on the same principle — that it can only work with a solid amount of cooperation and compromise.

Catch Long Shot (2019) in cinemas from May 2 here.

Image credit: Philippe Bossé

Contemplative empath who sees wonder in the curious world. Has a habit of hiding behind books and occasionally dabbles in games, Netflix and YouTube. Is permanently attached to bubble tea.
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