Long Shot

Long Shot

2019, R, 125 min. Directed by Jonathan Levine. Starring Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgård.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., May 3, 2019

Every love story is a long shot, especially in the movies, and most emphatically in romantic comedy, a whole genre engined by the collision of kismet, conflict, and compromise that puts two people on the path to finding each other and figuring out how to make it work. Fred Flarsky (Rogen) and Charlotte Field (Theron) didn’t have to look that far to find each other – she used to be his babysitter – but their careers took them in different directions. She’s the ultra-composed secretary of state, eyeing a run for president, and he’s a rabble-rousing journalist at a progressive paper. Her literal job is diplomacy; meanwhile, he’ll quit a job just to flip a finger to the man, dwindling bank account be damned. When a chance encounter puts them in the same orbit again, Fred joins Charlotte’s staff as a speechwriter and travels with her overseas for a series of diplomatic meetings.

The script, by Dan Sterling (The Interview) and Liz Hannah (The Post), takes its time with this overseas stretch, building the case for why two very different people might warm to each other, and sincerely considering the reasons why the odds aren’t in their favor. It puts in the work. It definitely doesn’t feel like work; I laughed myself silly at Long Shot, a slouchily sexy romantic comedy for grownups. Going broad, going blue, and taking a few risks along the way, it’s not just a welcome jolt to the forever-flatlining rom-com (in feature films, at least), but a cut way above the usual genre offerings.

In his third collaboration with director Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Night Before), Rogen rather irresistibly vibes pothead-Albert-Brooks; even as his character spirals out in anxiety or identity crisis, as a performer, he’s never seemed so confident, so fully adult on camera before. Maybe it’s Theron’s confidence that’s catching. An Oscar winner with a mid-career move into action badassedness (Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde), she’s game with every genre, but rom-coms have never been her thing. I’d say we’ve been missing out, but shudder to think of her slotted into any of Katherine Heigl or Kate Hudson’s Aughties perky-girl parts. Theron works so well here because the script actually gives her something interesting to work with: a nuanced character with ambitions, at ease in an authority role, vulnerable to self-doubt like everybody else.

Long Shot gestures at our particular political moment, its toxic divisiveness, with roughly the same oomph – anodyne, affirmational, unspecific – as its Nineties-era, fondly remembered forebears, Dave and The American President. It’s more effective as a document of utterly ordinary feminism. It doesn’t spend a lot of time on speeches about a woman’s worth, or what superhuman efforts it took Charlotte to ascend to her place in politics. Instead, the script, and Theron, matter-of-factly illustrate the old adage about Ginger Rogers, that she did everything Astaire did, only backwards and in heels. That the film actually gives her credit for it? That’s the best kind of wish fulfillment fantasy.

Showtimes

Wed., May 22

12:45, 3:50, 6:55, 10:10

Fri., May 24

10:05am, 1:50, 8:10

Sat., May 25

9:40am, 12:50, 4:25, 7:35, 10:40

Sun., May 26

9:30am, 12:40, 4:10, 7:20, 10:30

Mon., May 27

9:30am, 4:10, 7:20, 10:30

Tue., May 28

11:35am, 3:35, 10:50

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., May 22

1:20, 3:05, 6:20, 10:20

Fri., May 24

3:35, 6:55, 10:10

Sat., May 25

10:50am, 6:25, 9:30

Sun., May 26

11:45am, 6:20, 9:40

Mon., May 27

11:45am, 5:40, 9:00

Tue., May 28

12:10, 3:25, 10:10

Wed., May 22

11:50am, 4:45, 6:55, 10:05

Fri., May 24

11:50am, 3:45, 6:50, 9:55

Sat., May 25

12:25, 3:30, 6:35, 9:40

Sun., May 26

12:00, 3:05, 6:10, 9:15

Mon., May 27

12:15, 3:25, 6:35, 9:40

Tue., May 28

11:45am, 2:50, 5:55, 9:00

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 1:50, 4:40, 7:50

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 5:10, 8:10

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 11:40am, 8:10, 11:00

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 5:10, 8:10

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 11:10am, 2:10, 5:10, 8:10, 11:00

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 5:10, 8:10

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., May 22

digital 10:10am, 1:10, 4:05, 7:00, 10:10

Wed., May 22

digital 9:50am, 12:55, 3:55, 7:05, 10:10

Fri., May 24

digital 9:50am, 3:40, 9:25

Sat., May 25

digital 8:50

Sun., May 26

digital 4:20

Mon., May 27

digital 4:20

Tue., May 28

digital 9:50am, 3:40, 9:25

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., May 22

digital 1:00, 4:10, 7:20, 10:35

Thu., May 23

digital 1:00, 4:10

Fri., May 24

digital 12:05

Sat., May 25

digital 12:05

Sun., May 26

digital 12:05

Mon., May 27

digital 12:05

Tue., May 28

digital 2:15, 5:15

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

digital 10:40am, 1:40, 4:45, 7:40, 10:40

Fri., May 24

digital 10:05

Sat., May 25

digital 10:05

Sun., May 26

digital 10:05

Mon., May 27

digital 10:05

Tue., May 28

digital 10:05

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., May 22

1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Wed., May 22

CC 2:00, 6:45, 10:00

Thu., May 23

CC 11:15am, 2:30, 6:45, 10:00

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., May 22

CC 10:00am, 3:35, 9:20

Thu., May 23

CC 1:00, 4:00

Fri., May 24

CC 10:20am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:40, 10:50

Sat., May 25

CC 10:20am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:40, 10:50

Sun., May 26

CC 10:20am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:40, 10:50

Mon., May 27

CC 10:10am, 1:20, 4:25, 7:30, 10:30

Tue., May 28

CC 10:10am, 1:20, 4:25, 7:30, 10:30

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 12:35, 4:10, 7:10, 10:25

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 12:35, 4:10, 7:10, 10:25

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 12:35, 4:10, 7:10, 10:25

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 12:35, 4:10, 7:10, 10:25

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 12:35, 4:10, 7:10, 10:25

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 12:35, 4:10, 7:10, 10:25

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Wed., May 22

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:40

Fri., May 24

7:30, 10:45

Sat., May 25

7:30, 10:45

Sun., May 26

7:30, 10:45

Mon., May 27

7:30, 10:45

Tue., May 28

7:30, 10:45

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 3:45, 7:00

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 10:30am

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 10:30am

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 10:30am

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 7:40

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 1:10, 4:20, 7:30, 10:30

Thu., May 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:00

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Wed., May 22

11:15am, 4:10, 10:45

Thu., May 23

11:15am, 4:10, 7:30, 10:45

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Wed., May 22

10:00am, 1:20, 4:15, 7:30, 10:20

Thu., May 23

10:00am, 1:20, 4:15, 7:30, 10:20

Fri., May 24

10:00am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:20

Sat., May 25

10:00am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:20

Sun., May 26

10:00am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:20

Mon., May 27

10:00am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:20

Tue., May 28

10:00am, 2:40, 6:00, 9:20

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Wed., May 22

12:30, 3:20, 6:10, 9:00

Fri., May 24

11:00am, 6:40, 9:30

Sat., May 25

11:00am, 6:40, 9:30

Sun., May 26

11:00am, 6:40, 9:30

Mon., May 27

11:00am, 6:40, 9:30

Tue., May 28

11:00am, 6:40, 9:30

Wed., May 22

12:15, 4:00, 8:00, 10:30

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 11:05am, 2:10, 4:20, 7:30, 10:15

Thu., May 23

CC/DVS 11:05am, 2:10, 4:20, 7:30, 10:15

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 7:25, 10:40

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 7:25, 10:40

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 7:25, 10:40

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 7:25, 10:40

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:10

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Long Shot, Jonathan Levine, Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgård

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