Long Shot Was the Best Romantic Comedy of 2019

Photo: Philippe Bossé/Courtesy of Liongsgate

“Regrets, I’ve had a few,” Frank Sinatra said. “But then again, too few to mention.” Well, isn’t that nice for him. I personally have many regrets, one of which I need to mention immediately. Here it is: I have known for several months that Long Shot was the best romantic comedy of the year and I haven’t said anything about it until right now.

When I saw it in theaters this past spring, it was underperforming. It made $9,740,064 its opening weekend (which is not good), and I assume you did not see it. Would it still have underperformed at the box office (“partially attributed to its premiere one week after the blockbuster success of Avengers: Endgame,” according to the Ringer, according to Wikipedia) had I said something about it earlier? I’ll never know.

But now that Long Shot is available to stream on HBO, and now that it is the last day of the year, I have decided I need to speak up. 

Long Shot is very good.

I’ll tell you the plot. Seth Rogen plays a left-leaning Brooklyn journalist, recently unemployed after an evil rich man bought the outlet for which he formerly wrote. Charlize Theron plays the United States secretary of State, and she cares about the environment. How do they know each other? Good question. When they were kids, Charlize Theron was Seth Rogen’s babysitter. They run into each other at a party and eventually, blah-blah, they fall in love … or do they? Oh no. Could it ever work out between them? No! Or wait — could it!?

Of course I won’t spoil the ending, unless you ask me to privately in which case I will tell you to guess and then I will tell you if you are right or wrong. But trust me that you will enjoy it. The movie is genuinely very funny — clever and biting while sweet and endearing — and this seems quite rare. Everyone’s motives pretty much make sense the entire time, which I think you would agree is also quite rare. For example, you aren’t like, But why does she even want to be with Seth Rogen? You’re like, I mean, sort of come on, because it’s Charlize Theron, but pretty much I get it, due to her busy work situation and how he is charming and apparently a good writer, and I’m onboard, and I like them both.

Charlize Theron is so great in this movie. She does not get enough credit in general, I think. She is so funny. And she is so sweet to Seth Rogen, who is also so great in this movie. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is also great in this movie, and June Diane Raphael is also great in this movie. And Ravi Patel, Andy Serkis, Bob Odenkirk, and Alexander Skarsgård are also great in this movie. Lisa Kudrow is — oh! — just a vision in this movie, and Claudia O’Doherty, well, I love her in this movie, and Boyz II Men play themselves in this movie (briefly), which is just so great.

“That was … the best movie I have ever seen?” I texted my friend immediately after seeing Long Shot. She saw it separately on the same night, and she agreed. You might be wondering: Was the comment due to a general springtime happiness? Or due to having had a glass of wine in the theater? No. In fact, I watched it again recently and it was still very good. It is a movie that your friends will watch and then report back to you saying, “Wait — that was really good?” Which is insulting to the movie, but what can you do. I’m not sure what to tell you that will not spoil the plot more than I already have. Just watch it? It will take two hours and four minutes. You can trust me. And, if for no other reason, please watch it to clear my conscience for the New Year.

Long Shot Was the Best Romantic Comedy of 2019