Long Shot (2019): ‘Modern Rom-Coms’ – A Film Review



A lot of Romantic Comedies just fall into the idea of simple, sweet and expected. This is because, to keep a light-hearted air, they try to avoid it being very serious or even realistic. This, unfortunately makes for very predictable and unenthused filmmaking, unless the humour is done very well. How many films just look at the goal of sex/hooking up? The character sees someone, chases them, but (often) because of a lie they told, they struggle until finally winning them over. Life is more than this and a good Rom-Com explores the psychology of people and how we should actually be in real life. Seth Rogen, known mostly for straight up comedies, but also for other Rom-Coms like Knocked Up, returns for Long Shot with Charlize Theron.


Romantic Comedies as Relationship Studies

In some ways Long Shot feels like Woman of the Year and Notting Hillbut updated. With a lot more female characters in cinema entering the fray, and with more of a consideration for complex female characters, we, perhaps, will see a lot less of the ‘sex goal’ films. This is also far more likely considering the #metoo movement and the many people reevaluating relationships. A film that properly explores the power struggles in couples, and in the ways that Long Shot does, was far too long coming, perhaps. Managing a look at relationships in a way that is relatable to realistic and modern problems is an important aim for Romantic Comedies, and Long Shot, surprisingly, manages to achieve this within its narrative. Much like Woman of the Year and Notting Hill, a male character is faced with a love interest that has a greater status and strength, to themselves. This feels rather relevant and it’s also important to explore how that can affect the relationship and how people should react to these circumstances.



Partnered with this is a comedy style that, though present, is surprisingly humorous without being too distracting from the main concerns of the plot. This is a really hard balance to strike but they strive for the character drama first and this is how the plot succeeds. The characters devised are relatable and tell some natural jokes as part of their personality. This helps strengthen the films humour, as well as the banter between them within the relationship; ensuring that jokes further the characters and narrative and not just work in spite of them.



Long Shot is a surprisingly effective and refreshing Romantic Comedy. It’s the type of film that feels modern and well thought out, almost needed for contemporary audiences. A contemporary audience that’s dealing with issues that need that level of complexity. With high divorce rates, power struggles and the fight for stronger female characters, its surprising that a film like Woman of the Year got there first in 1942, and arguably with many other screwball comedies as well, but has largely been forgotten in 78 years. Hopefully we shall see more films like Long Shot coming about.



Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is going to be running for president. Meanwhile Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogan) quits his job as a journalist because of the ethical direction the company goes. After unexpectedly running into each other at a party and reminiscing about their friendship and their love of the environment, Charlotte Field recruits Fred Flarsky as a writer to help lead her campaigns.




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A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.


Films Mentioned

Knocked Up (d. Judd Apatow USA 2007)

Long Shot (d. Jonathan Levine USA 2019)

Notting Hill (d. Roger Michell UK/USA 1994)

Woman of the Year (d. George Stevens USA 1942)


Further Reading



Official Site

Interview with the Cast

Interview with Charlize Theron

Interview with Jonathan Levine

Behind the Scenes

Things You May Have Missed

Fred’s Makeover

Seth Rogan’s Funny Moments


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This was an analytical review of….

Long Shot (d. Jonathan Levine USA 2019)

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