The romantic comedy genre hasn’t really aged that well. The classic formula can only be done so many times before it just becomes sappy and starts to elicit eye rolls. I was really pulling for this film because it seemed to have the perfect formula: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael, and a lot of moments from the trailer that seemed genuinely funny. I’m happy to report that it’s true: Long Shot is a success. In fact, I truly think it’s the best romantic comedy I’ve ever seen. Laughs every five minutes, and the constant irresistible urge to smile!
There’s several reasons why this film works so well. The biggest thing Long Shot has going for it is it’s two leads, Theron and Rogen. They have a crazy amount of onscreen chemistry, I was totally captivated by them. The connection between them doesn’t feel in any way forced, instead it comes off as effortless and natural. It’s really a perfect formula they have because Rogen brings a very fresh, hilarious energy and Theron, who’s of course an incredible actress, brings a mixture of classiness and fun. They mix well and it honestly just makes you smile, I for one couldn’t help but beam from ear to ear. The writing does exactly what it should in every film, it uplifts the performances. The script is jam packed with comedy gold, I was laughing constantly. What I especially love is that the humor here is almost completely verbal. Slapstick and random physical gags can be really lazy and witty verbal humor is much more affective, at least for me.
The witty, sharp nature of the jokes are brought out perfectly by the cast, which brings me to June Diane Raphael. So I loved her ever since I saw her in the very first episode of Grace and Frankie. She is awesome at playing a smart ass, that’s part of her charm. She delivers her lines in a dry/matter of fact way that’s hilarious. Just like in Grace and Frankie, she shines here and serves as a fantastic supporting character.
That’s another great thing: the leads aren’t the only ones that get an opportunity to shine; everyone does. The pacing is seamless too, I never once thought about how much longer it was going to last. I was completely entertained the whole way through and honestly just wanted it to keep going. The film benefits from the R rating too; it doesn’t just revel in raunchiness and filth for no reason. Seth Rogen brings his adult brand of comedy and it makes the whole thing a riot. If this would’ve been PG-13, they would’ve had to reign in a lot of the more brazen comedy that lands so well.
Not all of the comedy is hard R, but the scenes that really go for it work and they don’t feel forced or like it’s just doing it to be rated R. There’s one sexual scene between Theron and Rogen that stands out as one of the funniest moments in the whole thing. While this scene is pretty graphic, thanks to Theron’s blunt/dry delivery, it elicits an abundance of laughs. If you love that dry/straight forward brand of comedy, then Long Shot is for you. Personally, that’s my favorite type and I think that sets this film apart from comedies that rely on slapstick or that loud, shrill type of humor. I want more of this and less of the Adam Sandler crap.
Comedy aside, the more serious aspects work really well too. The romantic scenes work because of the crazy chemistry these two share; I struggle to think of a better rom com pairing. There’s also a great scene towards the end between Rogen and his best friend in the film that illustrates people being able to be close despite ideological differences. This message is delivered in a hilarious way, so to not hit you over the head with it. It’s in the same vain as the rest of the film in that it serves up this perfect blend of fresh humor and genuine feeling.
There’s no need for the film to hit you over the head with it’s messages because it does it effortlessly. I think one of the best ways to present important messages like feminism or coexisting is to do it with a fresh style of humor, and that’s exactly what this film pulls off. Laughter brings people together and I think we’re all in dire need of that these days. Long Shot is very timely in it’s messages and it delivers them very effectively. This is one of the best times I’ve every had at the movies and encourage all of you to go see Long Shot!
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