Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is a slender, spectacular blonde who managed to become the Secretary of State of the United States. But her ambitions go even further: she intends to become the first female president! And it seems that this can really happen: the current president, Chambers (Bob Odenkirk), who once played the president in a popular TV series, secretly admitted to Charlotte that he would not go to a second term because he intends to leave for a big movie. And that he, the president, is ready to support Charlotte’s candidacy.
Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a leftist journalist working for the seedy Brooklyn Advocate. Fred is an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party, is desperately fighting for the environment, and in his articles he can be very sarcastic. He is overweight, bearded, and even dresses like a nerd programmer, or like a professional geologist. Fred also has his own ambitions, but at the moment he had to quit even from that seedy newspaper with which he worked, because it was bought by the media mogul Parker Wembley (Andy Serkis), whom Fred hates.
Flarsky told his old friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) about the dismissal, and he took him to unwind at a party dedicated to environmental issues – they say there will be free booze, as well as the Boyz II Men.
At the reception, Fred saw Charlotte and was dumbfounded: it turns out he knows her. Charlotte lived near Fred’s parents’ house and looked after Fred from time to time. Fred and Charlotte had one unpleasant moment for Fred, but the guy hopes that Charlotte forgot about it.
However, Charlotte has not forgotten Fred! She not only recognized him at the party, but later, after reading his articles, invited a journalist to become her speechwriter: Charlotte is going around the world with the presentation of her major environmental program and she needs a specialist who can write caustically and cheerfully.
Honestly, I have not seen a single film directed by Jonathan Levine. I decided to watch this picture because it has a fairly high rating and because Charlize Theron plays in it. True, the combination in a comedy melodrama with a hint of a romantic relationship between Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen caused frank bewilderment, but at the same time I wanted to see how everything would be sorted out.
It all began, as it were, even seriously: Charlotte is a kind of impregnable Snow Queen, secretary of state under the foolish president (Bob Odenkirk is frankly fooling around there, and quite funny). When she takes Fred to her headquarters, they kind of strictly demand from him there and don’t let him roam too much, but somewhere in the middle of the picture, when their beginning romantic relationship was very strained and with great creaking, frank buffoonery went on, including the scene when Madam Secretary of State got drugged in a nightclub and had to negotiate high with Prime Minister Chestnut who had captured an American pilot.
Charlize Theron is very good here, both in the version of the Snow Queen and in the version of an aunt stoned into the trash in a nightclub – this shows that she has good self-irony. An even greater presence of self-irony in her is shown by the romantic relationship of her heroine with this ridiculous infantile fat man. It, of course, looks extremely implausible, well, this is buffoonery. And the chastely filmed quickie hookup scene is actually quite funny.
Seth Rogen plays here in his usual style of “cool plump, cutting the truth to everyone”, next to the most spectacular Charlize Theron looks like a home dog, plays his numbers the way he usually plays them in comedies with Seth Rogen. (By the way, in Levine, in addition to this film, he starred in two more films.) Well, Seth Rogen and Seth Rogen, neither subtract nor add.
O’Shea Jackson Jr. was quite good as Fred’s old friend, and I must say that he has somewhat more acting skills than his ice cube dad, who is generally not called for someone to portray in the movies.
Alexander Skarsgard here portrayed a kind of parody Prime Minister of Canada: he also had fun with might and main, but they danced the tango with Charlize Theron just gorgeous, for a minute I even forgot that Seth Rogen was playing in this film at all.
From Charlotte’s team, I liked the bitchy Maggie Milikin (June Rafael): she had a funny bicker with Fred, and in general – the character turned out to be characteristic and there were several good episodes with her.
Well, Andy Serkis is good here as the malicious media magnate Wembley – Serkis is being pulled with might and main.
What is the result? Absolutely optional, absolutely disposable, but nevertheless at times funny comedy. There are a couple of jokes below the baseboard (about Fidel Castro in particular), but since Seth Rogen is present here, it seems to be so, so say thank you that there are only a couple of them. So, in general, I even watched it and didn’t quit halfway through – it’s already good.
PS I listened to the United Statesn dubbing. In my opinion, it turned out mediocre. If Olga Zubkova voiced Charlotte quite well, then Fred was noticeably messed up here: the voice is not particularly suitable, and the timbre and manner are rather unpleasant. Seth Rogen, for all his unpretentiousness, is still cool in the original, but here it is slightly lost. But the translation itself seems to be quite decent.
That couple / Long Shot movie meaning
Director: Jonathan Levine Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, Alexander Skarsgård, Andy Serkis, Bob Odenkirk, Randall Park, O’Shea Jackson Jr., June Raphael, Ravi Patel, Tristan Di Lalla
Worldwide gross: $51 million
Comedy melodrama, USA, 2019, 125 min.