Long Shot directed by Jonathan Levine, 2019.

with Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael, O’Shea Jackson, Jr.


Does everyone really curse as much as the people in Veep?  As the people in this movie? Can a man named Fred Flarksy (Seth Rogen) who wears a cheap teal sweatshirt zipped up to his chin and a badly soiled bicycle cap realistically date someone with high class and stature and style?

Compare this

with this

Taking a page from Veep and Vice, Long Shot follows the career of Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron)  whose road to higher office hits some bumps  along the way.

Fred Flarksy (Seth Rogen) holds his own in the company of the astonishingly beautiful Charlotte whose savoir faire in the political arena contrasts with his strident belief in his own ideas and political ethics.  Theron is convincing in her role, if a tiny bit more styled for the Hollywood runway than a diplomacy jag.

The movie is of the moment with its nods to mindful breathing and mini naps.  What a relief to watch two people puzzle out their affection for each other — and remain loyal to each other as well  as their political principles.

Since Charlotte is an advocate for the environment, part of the plot is about her wrangling an international treaty that protects bees, seas and trees, and how each of these ideas is threatened  by nefarious outsiders with money and influence.

The villain of the piece is a press mogul (think Rupert Murdoch) whose purchase of Fred’s paper impels him to quit his job in protest.  His joblessness leads to Charlotte hiring him as a “punch up” writer for her speeches, giving her more humor, and ability to connect with her audience.  Several sidekicks in the forms of handlers and bodyguards contribute to the humor.  Fred’s friendship with the one person he can call when he is feeling sad adds gravitas to the movie.

There are many funny lines but Seth’s speech writing does not provide them.    I think my favorite bits come from a tutorial for Charlotte on how to wave more charmingly.

O’Shea Jackson, who plays Fred’s best friend, with his hand on his heart. On either side of him, Charlotte’s handler and bodyguard

The movie seems to be about having the courage of your convictions even when you risk losing something important.  I did not buy the fairy tale ending when Charlotte gave up trying to play the game and won anyway.  But isn’t it nice to think so?



About Patricia Markert

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