A firebrand journalist bumps into his former babysitter, the US secretary of state and a soon-to-be presidential candidate, to kick off Jonathan Levine's Long Shot. The romantic comedy is not at all a long shot with critics, who give the film starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen a solid 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes—just below the 92% score awarded by audiences. What critics are saying:
- "Long Shot isn't going to save the romantic comedy, but it's an adrenaline shot of pure pleasure to the genre's failing heart," according to Manohla Dargis. Despite the film industry's "deep-seated, long-maintained fear of female power," here "the woman retains her power and identity," she writes at the New York Times. Theron, in that role, is "wonderful," Dargis adds, also complimenting Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah's script as "consistently, genially funny."
- "The film's irresistible fantasy—and hopefully, increasingly, our reality—is that there are men who are perfectly content supporting their high-powered wives," writes Inkoo Kang at Slate. She argues "Rogen is as funny as he's ever been, but it's Theron who's the standout" in "a brogressive rom-com" offering "extensive observations about sexism" in addition to "a solid joke just about every minute."
- Joe Morgenstern wasn't nearly as impressed. He describes Long Shot as "often funny and occasionally touching," but also made up of "a string of gestures and tropes fashioned for easy laughs or shallow impact, and logic be damned." Another complaint via his review in the Wall Street Journal: the script—in which "the raunch grows repetitious until the comedy wears out its welcome"—too often borrows from earlier films.
- But in the eyes of Brian Truitt, Long Shot is "truly excellent"—a "winning balance of drama and humor" that "wholly satisfies as an endearing and hilarious political escape." It's "both clever comedy and modern fairy tale." And "it doesn't hurt to have two great lead actors very capable of charming the pants off an audience." Theron shows off her comedic skills, while Rogen shows depth, Truitt writes at USA Today.
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