Movie Review: ‘Long (on Laughs) Shot’

SPOILER ALERT: As my young bride and I sat in the theater waiting to see Avengers: Endgame, Seth Rogen came on the screen and invited us to feel something different.

He stars opposite Charlize Theron in Long Shot, a movie that takes unlikely romance to a ridiculous, often vulgar, and hilarious extreme without resulting in the deaths of any beloved superheroes.

Unlikely parings are nothing new to the movies, but this isn’t Hugh Grant playing the struggling travel book store owner who romances an American movie star in Notting Hill.

This is Rogen, who looks like he should be playing Dungeons & Dragons with Wil Wheaton or passing joints around the basement with the cast of That ’70s Show, not playing leading man to the likes of Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) or Theron.

But this film, with a lot of heart, a constant stream of laughs, and excellent performances, works.

Theron plays ambitions secretary of state Charlotte Field. Rogen is Fred Flarsky, a down on his luck journalist who’s had a crush on her since she was his babysitter. After they accidently reconnect, he joins her team as a speechwriter.

If you don’t mind that it’s rated R for language, drug use, and sexual content, it makes a great date movie.

My date loved it and couldn’t stop laughing at the nonstop stream of jokes and humorous situations.

The movie makes fun of white supremacists, shallow politicians, partisan media, angry leftists, and the way women politicians are often talked about and treated.

It mixes witty dialogue, slap-stick antics, and gross out comedy.

So what’s the long shot? The sloppy Flarsky’s odds of ending up with the sophisticated politician? Field’s chance of getting elected president? Or maybe a reference to one of the film’s crasser scenes, one reminiscent of something Ben Stiller’s character does before a date in There’s Something About Mary?

Let the viewer decide.

Beyond the gags, the film offers such sweet themes as the value of truly getting to know someone and of prioritizing friendships over politics.

Will audiences, during this age of so much political angst and anger, take that message to heart?

Unfortunately, that’s likely a long shot, too.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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