Long Shot

Long Shot

By Joanna Langfield

This thoroughly modern romantic comedy delivers as many laughs as it does sly shots at today’s world. In other words, this is a sweet and goofy rom com for people looking for a little bit more than that.

Although directed by Jonathan Levine and written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah, this feels very much like a Seth Rogen vehicle. And that is a good thing. It’s been a real treat to watch Rogen evolve as a filmmaker. He’s grown from an effective performer in his earliest TV work, allowing a somewhat against brand gravity to surface in his acting and writing, which makes them far more purposeful and fascinating than his initial stoner-boy image may have led us to expect. Here, from the get go, as a scruffy Jewish journalist out to expose a local Nazi group, we already realize this isn’t the stuff of your usual fluffy romance. And as Rogen becomes a political speechwriter as well as lover, we’re faced with social eye openers as well as a how-can-we-pull-this-off traditional love story. The leap in this one is far greater than it is, say, in The American President, starring the beautiful and elegant Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. Because this time, Seth Rogen is in love with Charlize Theron.

Theron is dandy as the polished, poised, gorgeous and lonely Secretary of State with an eye on the Presidency. Even when asked to deal with the obligatory (?) drug scene that seems to show up in every recent Rogen film, she is game, smart and, yes, gorgeous. Shout outs, too, to the wonderful June Diane Raphael, an again unrecognizable Andy Serkis and especially O’Shea Jackson, Jr.

Maybe it is a tad too long, but this sweetie, for the most part, breezes along on a bed of good laughs, good thoughts and good vibes. How can we resist?