Long Shot

A gender-swapped The American President

A scruffy, gonzo-ish investigative journalist (Seth Rogen) is reunited with a childhood crush (Charlize Theron), now the Secretary of State, and is gobsmacked to learn that the attraction is mutual. Looking for some outside-the-box thinking, she hires him as her speechwriter for her impending presidential bid. 

There ensues a sporadically funny fish-out-of-water rom-com as the two pursue a steamy globetrotting affair and engage in some preposterously irresponsible behavior. 

Pros: Mining humor from today’s world of terrorism, climate change and corruption is a daunting but necessary job, and generally it’s a pleasure watching the subtle interactions between these two immensely likable actors. 

Cons: Gratuitously heavy use of the F-word, clunky third act, and each flash of genuinely funny comedy is countered with something grindingly infantile. Bottom line: I wanted to like this movie more than I did.

January 3 (125 min)