Long Shot (2019)

Charlize Theron is a woman who can play almost any role at this point and come out looking golden. She’s been able to portray so many interesting characters, and in “Long Shot” she is a beautiful politician fighting for the role of president. “Long Shot” would be a good movie if it weren’t mired in all that Judd Apatow nonsense that was very popular in the early aughts that reduces her to a cliché. There’s the frumpy man child winning the love of the ideal gorgeous woman, and there’s even the snide BFF of said woman who hates the frumpy man child at first, but then eventually learns to love him. And of course, there’s Seth Rogen who’s made a career of playing Seth Rogen once again playing Seth Rogen.

Rogen plays Fred, a rebellious investigative journalist who often gets in to trouble. Theron is Charlotte Field, an influential senator and diplomat who has aspirations to become the president of the United States. Charlotte used to babysit Fred as a kid and Fred fell in love with her, never quite getting over his affections for her. When they meet up at a party she was set to appear in, they reconnect, and Charlotte hires Fred to become her speech writer. Anxious to connect with the public, Fred begins enhancing her speeches, but as Fred and Charlotte begin to bond again and fall for one another, Charlotte realizes she may have to decide between her huge aspirations or her unmistakable affections toward Fred.

“Long Shot” is about as small scale and vanilla pudding as it gets. Jonathan Levine has a knack for bringing laugh out loud comedies, but “Long Shot” never reaches that level of hilarity even once. “Long Shot” tries to straddle the line between raunchy comedy and broad romance where two mismatched people realize they share so much love for one another. One moment Fred and Charlotte are dancing to “Must Have Been Love” in a private room, and the next we’re watching Rogen simulate masturbation. There’s just so much here that’s painfully uneven and woefully unfunny. The writers never take full advantage of any of the comic developments, because “Long Shot” never knows what it wants to be at all. It aims for political satire, but then dodges it when the climax rolls around, and there’s the over familiar story line of the man child who has to grow up once and for all.

There’s also the gorgeous grown up woman who helps him come to a sense of self realization only because he might lose her if he doesn’t evolve as an individual. Theron is very good at invoking chemistry with Rogen, but Rogen is once again on auto pilot, playing himself as this unabashed stoner, and slacker with his own philosophy toward life. It’s all so old hat, that it all feels like some sort of grasp for familiarity toward Rogen’s fan base.  “Long Shot” wastes a lot of its talent, with O’Shea Jackson Jr. being reduced to a walk on, and Bob Odenkirk playing a Trump caricature who is shockingly restrained in a role that could have grabbed big laughs. “Long Shot” is a dull, bland, and unfunny meshing of sub-genres that probably might have been charming if it didn’t tack on the raunchy nonsense.