Seth Rogen plays Fred Flarsky, a left-wing journalist who we first meet impersonating a white-supremacist Neo-Nazi to infiltrate a club and gather dirt. Meanwhile, Charlize Theron plays Charlotte Field, the Vice-president of the United States who is the first to hear the news the current president (a fictional one, even though his stupidity is, from other angles than this idea I’m about to say, not hard to believe) wants to retire from his position to go into acting. He also says he’s completely willing to endorse Charlotte as frontrunner for replacement. She hasn’t announced the news yet; presidential candidates have to give it some planning first, and some of her aides want to help her be more charismatic, more exciting for everyone else. One day at the office, Flarsky finds out his news outlet is being bought, which doesn’t mean he’d lose his job, it’s just that they’ll now have to write stories a little more toward their new boss’s agenda. The hiccup is, this is from a guy who says tornadoes are a result of gay marriage legalisation implementation. Enraged, he quits and encourages everyone else to do so, especially since a big fraction of other employees were to have to resign due to cuts anyway. At a party, Flarsky in his flashy turquoise and purple coat gets noticed by Field, because they actually knew each other back in high school when Field was his babysitter. After Field learns of his career and reads some of his work, which has headlines unafraid to be profane and accusatory, at the expense of the bad feelings in the guts of her supervisors, she hires him to be her script writer, and with that we have a comedy about the lives of politicians in their quest for empowerment of their agendas and the toll having to be perfect can end up actually taking on a human being.
Now, I’m not an American, but I’m definitely a far left-wing. I’d be on any side of politics as long as they’re not Republicans or Conservatives. I’m sorry, but I say you don’t want to support the environment in every way possible, your voice isn’t worth an insect’s phlegm. I wholeheartedly support both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for president. My biggest fear right now has been replaced from sea creatures and getting stabbed to growing up in a literal environment where by 2030 it’s as much of a wasteland as anticipated. Socialist Democrats are fighting tooth and nail every day for my future, and I love each of them, especially Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Also, as someone who studied in Journalism and disagreed with his teachers on our goals only being to tell stories and tell the truth and present something that allows the reader to decide the best side of the argument (that form of Journalism is long past its due date, when that means we have to reason with right-wing conspiracy theorists and those in support of abortion bans, environmental catastrophe and completely unreasonable tax cuts for the rich, and we journalists hold the power to convince people to do what’s right and stand up for our world.) *breathe in* there’s so much in this comedy I was very happy to see myself agreeing with, especially the incredulity of leaders believing a connection between LGBTQ+ support and catastrophes and billionaires taking over advertiser supported television and how every politician has to be “perfect” when it’s pretty much impossible to be that way in everyone’s eyes anyway. I was also very happy to see Seth Rogen taking his role very seriously, making him like Steve Carrell from The Big Short, angry yet funny at the same time. I expected Theron to nail this sort of role, but I kind of thought Rogen might end up being overly goofy for handling serious topics this movie has to present to be proper, but he’s very good.
I also enjoyed the message of being able to live. It touches on how it is so hard to make it big, that when you do end up getting to the finish line, it’s hard to find yourself living a proper life. Charlotte ends up having a full list displayed for her by her assistant as she exits a plane flaunted by flashing cameras, with ten different phone calls and appointments told she has to do within a couple hours before she even has a chance to sit down.
This movie couldn’t help but make me think how much free-time the politicians I support and see as heroes actually have and if they ever feel guilt for sleeping in a little longer when they literally hold the world on their shoulders. It made me sincerely hope that all my heroes fighting for the 2020 U.S. election manage to find time to have fun.
I can’t put Long Shot into the A-category of movies though. This is for three main reasons. One is the romance feels a bit mainstream and predictable. The second is more complex; it was going to be hard from the get go to make us laugh out loud in a comedy about our political climate, when so much of the jokes ring too true to home. Networks like Fox and Friends and political leaders who don’t give a cr** about our future environment despite being already stupid rich are worth making fun of but are in so much power in the real world that, while the result is thought-provoking and enlightening for those who would rather watch a comedy than listen to the news, it’s not laugh-out-loud funny. The third is when during the crisis buildup, a POC admits he’s a Republican and he’s proud of it, and he treats someone who assumed he could never be as racist for thinking that, but in this day, it’s really not at all. Republicans are at a stage right now where they don’t have a leg to stand on. But I’m grateful Rogen and Theron were able to star in a Hollywood comedy that rings true to progressive politics, and simply rings true to common-sense people. I don’t know if the ending of the film will ring true in the future, but let’s all just pray we get a candidate in the White House that manages to bring dignity back to the world.