Long Shot (2019)
Towards the beginning of every year there seems to be a movie that for whatever reason stands out to me and I get really excited over for no real reason. Last year for example, the film was Tully and this year that role was filled by Long Shot. Ever since I heard early positive reactions coming out of SXSW this film continued to stand out after some great trailers and posters. I was so happy when I finally was able to see this film (after seemingly everyone else saw this film early as I missed by screening for a screening of Avengers: Endgame) and where this is not going to make it on my best of list it was a really good time in the theater and I hope it picks up box office wise after a slower start.
One of the best things I can say about this film is that it is legitimately funny. So many comedies fail to achieve this simple goal and honestly I am not always the biggest fan of Seth Rogan comedy as most of the times it is dumb comedy that serves plenty of people but just doesn't really work for me. Yet in films like this when he puts more effort into writing clever jokes that have messages and a real edge to them that they really stand out and connect. The fact that I audibly laughed at multiple points in this movie really says something. I will warn though that a lot of this humor is not meant for a large demographic of America. If you are republican or Christian and do not appreciate jokes about that part of you (or Seth Rogan directly saying Fuck You) this is not going to be the movie for you. Yet with these political jokes, they do eventually get to a pretty important message and the movie is making a point with this.
The acting is also fantastic here, where no one is going to be getting an Oscar for their roles both of our leads have great chemistry and are a huge reason why this movie works. Seth Rogan is so naturally funny, he doesn't need to put on a really crazy character or try too hard to be something he is not. His humor at least feels like it comes so naturally with just who he is and feels pretty grounded compared to a lot of other comedians out there. It is also easy to forget how good Charlize Theron is in this type of roll but she so so funny and charismatic! She easily holds her own to Seth Rogan throughout this film and is just fantastic. Yet beyond the comedy, there is the romance which is also really well done. Despite not being your typical couple these two have such chemistry and the film is so good at being authentic with their connection. Where so many movies rely on big grand moments to build a romance this film goes the much more quiet route, instead of huge dances with everyone watching the most beautiful moments in this movie are them dancing in a back dirty kitchen with a song playing off an iPhone. Moments like this are quiet but raw and real.
That being said the actual story of this film does follow some pretty basic elements that feel pretty stale. The emotions always connected but sometimes it felt like the plot was holding itself back from truly capitalizing on the comedy and the romance. The third act also feels much weaker as they back themselves into a corner with the plot and sometimes it can feel a bit messy as it tries to wrap things up. Overall this film was on the verge of being great and where I still hope it does good overall it won't be anywhere near my best of the year list.