Sparks fly when an unemployed journalist is hired as a speechwriter for the Secretary of State in Long Shot. Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a journalist for a left-leaning publication, who is forced to quit his job after learning that the newspaper was acquired by wealthy mogul Parker Wembly (Andy Serkis). Joining his best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) at a party, Fred finds himself reunited with his former babysitter Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who happens to be the U.S. Secretary of State, who preparing herself for a presidential bid. After the chance meeting, Fred is hired to be a speech writer for Charlotte and it isn’t long until sparks begin to fly between the two. However, Charlotte’s handlers fear that the relationship with someone like Fred could endanger her presidential ambitions.
Long Shot is the latest directorial effort from filmmaker Jonathan Levine (50/50), which places the typical romantic comedy storyline within a political satire. When President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk) decides not to run for reelection, in favour of a career in film, it provides Charlotte Field the chance to run in his place, with an upcoming environmental bill being a major stepping stone to her presidential campaign. When Charlotte makes the unorthodox choice of choosing Fred to be her speechwriter, it results in her staff Maggie (June Diane Raphael) and Tom (Ravi Patel) to freak, particularly since they were in the process of matchmaking her with Canadian Prime Minister James Steward (Alexander Skarsgård). Things become more complicated when a childhood crush between Fred and Charlotte are reignited and she would have to decided whether it’s worth pursuing a relationship with someone like Fred.
It can be quite easy to excuse Long Shot as little more than a wish fulfillment fantasy, since the plot involves both an average looking schlub hooking up with an unbelievable attractive woman, while said woman is preparing to run for the President of the United States. At the very least, Long Shot does acknowledge that someone like Seth Rogen would be an eyebrow-raising choice to date someone like Charlize Theron, hence the title of the film. However, when it is played out in the film, I can truly believe that it is possible for the two to get together.
While Long Shot is ultimately a romantic comedy, complete with the usual cliches, it also provides some satire of the current political climate. This includes Bob Odenkirk playing a former TV actor, who has no idea how to be President, Andy Serkis under layers of prosthetic make-up playing a mix between Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch, and Alexander Skarsgård playing a quite obvious caricature of Justin Trudeau. There is also the usual raunchy humor present in Seth Rogen comedies, including Charlotte doing a hostage negotiation while high on drugs and a hacked video that becomes a pretty sizable plot point in the third act.
Overall, while I would say that the story is ultimately one that takes place in the realm of fantasy, Long Shot is still a fairly entertaining romantic comedy.