Directed by Jonathon Levine and staring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogan, the 2019 romantic-comedy Longshot about a Secretary of State falling in love with a slouchy speechwriter, somewhat disappeared from the cultural radar not long after its release. This is a shame.
Over the weekend I saw the movie listed while scrolling through a streaming service and remembered how excited I had been to see the film when I first heard about it not long after it premiered. For some reason I, along with a lot of people who would normally rush out to see a film like this, missed it. So, I threw it on.
It is terrific. Sharply funny, containing plenty of hilarious set pieces as well as constant witty and actually fresh-seeming banter, the film was pretty much delightful.
A particular highlight is the scene in which Theron’s Secretary of State character is forced to confront and international security incident while high on ecstacy. It is a deft hand that can make a scene like that seem both actually funny and not insensitive to the gravity of very real international security incidents that occur regularly, particularly during the Trump presidency.
The movie also tackles, with reasonable depth considering its format and obvious play for wide appeal, some timeless political challenges. The most central of which - when to sacrifice your principles to be pragmatic - is central to the plot that drives the film as well as the tension between the two leads, and resolves fairly satisfactorily for a film you might not expect to have much to say about contemporary politics.
If you’re looking for a very funny and ultimately refreshing romantic comedy, look no further than Longshot.