Written by Michael Clawson
Voting in favor of this one. Gets away with making Fred (Fred Flarsky that is, what a name) both a mildly schlubby pothead constantly in the same athleisurewear (which becomes a joke in itself) and a principled journalist with a flair for speech-writing, because Rogen evenly puffs life into both sides of the character. Early stages of the relationship are sweet and pleasant because they’re more platonic than romantic; intimations of stronger feelings are wisely put off until the end of the globetrotting portion, most of which is free of real conflict and instead concentrated on Fred and Charlotte simply becoming good friends. The soundtrack is just right in that stretch, with gentle but upbeat tunes (The Cure’s “Close to Me” is the first that comes to mind) playing quietly below the dialogue, never too emotionally emphatic.
Laughs come at an impressively regular cadence, the highlights being small-scale quips and gags (e.g. Fred’s half-complete swastika tattoo becoming a stick figure dubbed “Adolf Stickler”, Jackson’s character revealing he’s a Republican: “I’m in the GOP…yeah you know me”, Fred’s astonishment at Charlotte asking for rough sex). The broader, physical bits – Fred diving out a window to escape neo-nazis, falling down the stairs after telling off a corrupt media tycoon, Fred and Charlotte together fleeing from a hotel under siege – feel a tad lazier, but still earned chuckles. Super fun to see Theron be so goofy, ducking behind aides to scarf a chicken skewer or managing a hostage crisis while high on molly. No complaints about the film championing integrity and humorously deriding how women are expected to present themselves in the public eye, but the script needed a much sharper pen for those aspects to culminate in any emotional way. As is though, a perfectly diverting rom-com.
Long Shot Trailer
Long Shot is currently available to rent on major VOD platforms.