I’m in the mood for a good romantic comedy, and I love movies with the theme of two unlikely people, after many false starts, finding love together.
A new rom-com, “Long Shot” takes a shot at box office success.
The only thing that gave me pause was the casting — Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen.
Now, falling for atomic blonde Theron would be easy … but I still think of funnyman Rogen as sort of a doofus.
Sure, he did that early-in rom-com with Katherine Heigl called “Knocked Up,” but she kinda had to fall for him since he was her baby daddy.
In “Long Shot,” Fred Flarsky (Rogen) is an unemployed journalist who falls for his former babysitter, Charlotte Field (Theron), who is now the U.S. Secretary of State preparing to run for the presidency. The movie promo describes her as “one of the most powerful and unattainable women on Earth.”
Talk about love in the fast lane.
OK, this being a rom-com, we’ll put our money on Rogan. He can be winningly vulnerable, when need be.
Truth is, we all love long-shot romances. Whether it’s real-life couples like James Carvel and Mary Matalin, or fiction ones like Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) and Kate Madison (Paula Patton) in “Swing Vote.” Or Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) in “You’ve Got Mail,” or Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in … name any of the movies they appeared in together.
“Long Shot” props up the Rogen-Theron pairing with an superb cast, including: Bob Odenkirk (“Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul”) as the current TV star president. Alexander Skarsgård (TV’s “True Blood”) as the handsome Prime Minister of Canada. Andy Serkis (“Lord of the Rings” trilogy) as the Rupert Murdoch-like media mogul who fires Fred. O’Shea Jackson Jr. (oldest son of Ice T, “Straight Outta Compton”) as Fred’s best bro. Trisran D. Lalia (“White House Down”) as Charlotte’s bodyguard. Jane Diane Raphael (“Unfinished Business”) is the political handler trying to reshape Charlotte’s image for a presidential run. Toss in appearances by Lisa Kudrow (TV’s “Friends”) and R&B legends Boyz II Men as themselves.
Yes, “Long Shot” is an old-fashioned rom-com, the kind where you fall in love with the stars rather than the story. For instance, “Pretty Woman” was about Julia Roberts and Richard Gere rather a sordid story about a prostitute and a businessman.
What I’m saying is that Seth Rogen sold himself to me as a leading man in this romantic comedy and, by the end, I was rooting for him to win over Charlize Theron.
Spoiler alert: He does. And everybody ends up happy.