Follow TV Tropes


Film / Long Shot

Go To

"It's Pretty Woman, but she's Richard Gere and you're Julia Roberts."
Lance to Fred

A 2019 Romantic Comedy directed by Jonathan Levine and starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen. Intrepid Reporter Fred Flarsky (Rogen) is out of work, and feeling cynical towards the world, when opportunity comes his way. His former babysitter and crush, Secretary of State Charlotte Fields (Theron), is preparing for a presidential run. Meeting Fred at a party, they reconnect as she hires him as a media consultant while promoting an environmental agenda. Old feelings flare up, as they work together, while their personal and professional relationship finds itself tested by Realpolitik factors.

This film contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Fred Flarksy.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Averted. Charlotte wants to be President, and she is willing to make compromises for it, but she's only willing to go so far, and does have some innovative, passionate ideas about what she's actually going to do with the job (unlike President Chambers).
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Charlotte's aides, Maggie and Tom, tend to snip at each other, but turn out to occasionally have sex.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Computer hacking is used to get the video of Fred masturbating.
  • Black Republican: Lance is one. And a Christian one to boot.
  • Blackmail Backfire: Wembley and Chambers use a video of Fred (and the threat to withhold Chambers' endorsement) to force Charlotte to renounce her agenda (which also damages her relationship with Fred). Once she decides to brave the consequences and denounces them, when they do release the video, it just comes across as verifying her claims of being blackmailed and stirs up a lot of public support for her and Fred, and she manages to get elected in spite of the video.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Charlotte is told that she has an awkward, stilted wave by staffers listing her key weaknesses, and is seen practicing it a few times later on.
    • Chambers lists Woody Harrelson and George Clooney as the only two major TV actors to successfully cross over into film. Fred later does the exact same thing, though Maggie argues that Jennifer Aniston counts.
  • The Confidant: Lance serves as one to Fred, talking him through times of trouble (although at one point he asks if Fred just sees him as a Token Black Friend due to a misconception he makes that Lance's crucifix is an African icon).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Parker Wembley, a MegaCorp CEO who is trying to influence the Presidential election, and influenced the one before it, while being committed to the failure of Charlotte's environmental agenda (which would hurt his logging interests).
  • Dance of Romance: Shortly after Fred and Charlotte have become a couple they dance in a kitchen to It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For the Broken-Hearted) by Roxette.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: While reporting on the Nazi group, Fred is forced to get a partial swastika tattoo that he later covers up with a stick figure.
  • Faux Horrific: At one point, Fred complains about the fact Charlotte is working with Republican politicians. Lance points out that getting both parties to create and pass legislation together is a good thing.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Wembley News is basically Fox News in everything but name.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Charlotte, a very attractive and successful Secretary of State falls for the geeky average looking Fred who had a crush on her as a child.
  • Honest Advisor: Maggie is upfront about what she feels Charlotte needs to do for her campaign (and about Fred's potential detriment to it) without being overly nasty or condescending, and tends to convincingly argue her points.
  • Honor Before Reason: Fred quits his job in protest when his paper is brought up by the company a man he despises, even though (as his boss points out) he'd get benefits if he was fired, and due to the multiple layers of the company, Parker Wembley (the owner) won't even hear about what he did. Downplayed when Charlotte refuses to be blackmailed later, deciding that it would mean sacrificing too much to make winning the presidency worth it.
  • Hot-Blooded: Fred doesn't broker compromise very well.
  • Informed Judaism: Fred is identified as Jewish, but doesn't seem particularly observant of the faith.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Fred, who is introduced undercover at a white supremacists rally and narrowly escapes by jumping out of a window once his cover is blown.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Maggie isn't too happy about Fred's presence and the potential liabilities he poses to Charlotte's campaign, but she doesn't really take pleasure out of pointing this out to Charlotte, is a decent friend and advisor to her, and ultimately does seem more supportive/accepting of Fred by the end.
  • Lead You Can Relate To: Invoked with Charlotte trying to become one of these for her campaign, under Fred's guidance, and having it work out both for the media and in reality.
  • Love Confession: Near the end, Charlotte gives one to Fred when she shows up at his apartment after they had previously broken up.
  • MSNBC Conservative:
    • Averted: Lance turns out to be a Republican, and a devout Christian (to Fred's surprise) and is one of the most pleasant and reasonable characters in the movie, as well as liking the idea of Charlotte (a Democrat) becoming President.
    • Parker Wembley has shades of this (Fred mentions that he claims weather problems are caused by gay marriage, and he has an anti-environmental agenda), but he's portrayed as being more interested in business than politics, and helped Chambers (who is implied to be a Democrat) get elected with a fake news campaign.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: On the first step of Charlotte's international's tour, when a foreign leader forces her to cut out part of her environmental agenda, after she changes the speech on Fred's computer, he throws it into the snow to stop her. He then gets informed that there are several copies of the speech on a flash drive and therefore the only thing he threw away was his personal computer, causing Fred to frantically dig it out of the snow and yell for rice to keep the water from short-circuiting it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Parker Wembley, an old and foreign-born right-wing media mogul, is obviously supposed to be Rupert Murdoch. His Wembley News channel's graphics package is identical to Fox News.
    • Although Chambers is apparently a Democrat, his portrayal as a vain former television personality who shows a lack of respect for environmental treaties, and whose campaign was supposedly aided by fake news, might contain some subtle jabs at Donald Trump.
    • Canadian Prime Minister James Steward is more or less an Affectionate Parody of Justin Trudeau, crossed with a couple of traits from the latter's father (also once a Prime Minister), namely his good looks, flirtatious behaviour and celibacy.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: President Chambers, a former actor who is more concerned with the revival of his career than Presidential duties, and also expects Charlotte to submit to Parker Wembley and his corporate interests.
  • The Pollyanna: Lance is a downplayed male example, being a very positive person who encourages Fred to look at things better.
  • Precocious Crush: Fred had one on Charlotte as a kid.
  • Romantic False Lead: The Prime Minister of Canada, who Maggie suggests Charlotte date to form a power couple for the media. They try it out for a while but in the end don't connect, and he seems ok with this.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Fred quits his job when he learns that his company has been bought out by a wealthy and biased conspiracy theorist, even refusing unemployment benefits (the manager offered to fire him instead).
  • Shout-Out: Fred and Charlotte are shown watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Russian as part of Fred's attempt to increase her pop culture awareness.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Fred loves dropping F bombs and other profanity.
  • Slave to PR: President Chambers isn't running for reelection because he feels cashing in on his image to break into movies in Hollywood would be more prestigious than the Presidency, and only considers giving Charlotte his endorsement after she points out that supporting the first female President would be a positive step for his legacy. Charlotte herself gives a lot of consideration to public image.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Charlotte was one in High School, using it to run for Student Council (she lost to a boy who promised to have two Proms instead of one) and is still trying to push an environmental agenda as an adult.
  • Speed Sex: The first time Charlotte and Fred have sex, they both climax within seconds. The usual "That's never happened to me before line" is both gender flipped and subverted by Charlotte and Fred, respectively.
  • The Stoic: Downplayed with Charlotte's secret service bodyguard.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Fred and Chambers both see Chambers as a TV actor first and a politician second, and when discussing how not many TV stars have made it big into films, are only able to name Woody Harrelson and George Clooney.
  • Take That!: When Maggie claims Jennifer Aniston is one of the few major TV stars to successfully transition to becoming a film star, Fred rebukes this:
    Fred: Just because you star in movies doesn't make you a movie star.