Jonathan Levine (director)
2h 15mins (length)
02 May 2019 (released)
08 May 2019
Romantic comedies are a Hollywood staple, offering a tried and tested formula that, while often predictable, is instantly recognisable and wholly gratifying.
You know the one: two people meet each other, they fall in love, there's an obstacle to overcome, and then they (usually) live happily ever after.
Some consider them to fall into the "guilty pleasure" category, but get it just right and there's no guilt whatsoever.
Long Shot doesn't stray too far from the mould, blending the formula with 2019's political climate for a plot and narrative that lives up to its name.
When Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) reunites with his first crush - U.S. Secretary of State and presidential candidate Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) - she is instantly charmed by his self-deprecating humour and idealised memories of their time spent together when she was his childhood babysitter.
Having been dismissed from his position at his local newspaper after being busted while carrying out an undercover investigation on a group of neo-Nazis, he attends an exclusive party with friend and business mogul Lance (O'Shea Jackson Jr.), and reunites with his one-time love interest.
As she prepares to make a run for the presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter.
Socially inept and dressed like a teenager in crisis, Fred is unprepared for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight, and his wide-eyed innocence causes Charlotte to develop feelings for her new aide.
Naturally, sparks fly between the pair, as their chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents.
On paper, Long Shot is a triumph, and the narrative makes for a series of laugh out loud moments that are genuinely hilariously funny, and the indisputable talent of the movie's leads and director Jonathan Levine's ability means they play off one another admirably.
Whether it's Charlotte's dismay as Fred unsuccessfully attempts to mingle with the social elite, or his horror as a teenager when he realises that he's made his lust for his babysitter a little too clear (yes, you know what we mean), the film has a considerable number of highs.
Where the movie falls short, however, is in its length; it's 30 minutes too long, and it shows.
We all know the rom-com formula, and much of the film's opening is spent unnecessarily setting the scene for an audience largely aware what's going to happen.
It's not that Long Shot is a drag - not by any means - but at the 90-minute mark you're ready for things to wrap up, and that's a tell-tale sign.
The actors' skill and director's craft, however, means it's easily overlooked, and you'll be left feeling uplifted and aching with laughter come the closing credits.
Long Shot does what it says on the tin; it's a shameless and hilarious romp that's bound to end up a staple of movie-lovers' collections for years to come.