'Long Shot' Suffocates Good Points in Vulgarity
Amid all the lauds laid on 'Long Shot' as renewing the romcom as we knew it, few critics mention how incredibly vulgar it is. At what level? It's 'There's Something About Mary' nasty. 'Long Shot' achieves bits of comedy and romance, just not enough to resuscitate the conflated genre.
The romcom crouches beneath the frat boy humor. But Seth Rogan's work as co-star and producer should forewarn viewers that naughty words repeat in a loop. From both women and men, young and old, Anglo and Saxon.
Inside that litany is a story about mis-matched love. Not surprising that the homely member of the loving pair is the male. Fred Flarsky fits nowhere in the female's world. He is a bleeding liberal journalist who quits his job when his alt newspaper is bought by the leading, lying purveyor of smarm. Fred is quickly hired by his old babysitter, who graduated from running for junior high student council to running for President of the United States from her position as Secretary of State.
Charlize Theron channels Hillary Clinton and Téa Leoni as Madame Secretary, right down to Leoni's silk shirt's slipping out of her pencil skirt. Theron's acting here is nowhere close to her admirable work in last year's 'Tully.' The President, a former television actor, is played by Bob Odenkirk.
The supporting cast includes June Diane Raphael and Ravi Patel, with Andy Serkis appearing as the disgusting newspaper mogul (think Murdoch).
'Long Shot' (a pun on politics and porn) is not the sort of film where camera angles or production design matter. For the record, the director is Jonathan Levine, of '50/50' and 'Snatched' fame. Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah produced some funny lines in the script, many thrown away on the conservative television show's anti-woman campaign. 'Long Shot' does not bring back the romcom so much as it reminds viewers why that genre resembles a corpse today.