“Long Shot”: People Are More Than Labels

The trailer made it look like a romcom, so of course I wanted to stay away from it. Never mind Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, both of whom I like a lot – another cheesy Hollywood story of boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again, this time about a politician and a journalist? Thanks, I’ll pass, I thought.

But then I heard some reviews, from friends and from professionals, and decided to go anyway, and I’ve chosen just the best day to do it: a day after a disastrous election in my country. What better movie to watch in a day where I lost almost all faith in my nation?

I was surprised to realize that though “Long Shot” is both romantic and very funny, it’s not a romcom, not in your classic Four Serendipities And A Notting Hill style. It’s actually a regular comedy about two people – an American Secretary of State with ambition to run for president and a former journalist turned speechwriter for her – who get to really know each other on their numerous travels around the world before they realized they’re in love, somewhere in the middle of the movie! And thanks to that – plus a range of profanities and amount of discussions about sex and masturbation I’ve never seen in your standard PG-13 romcom – they seem like actual human beings instead of paper cutouts that are there for us to watch meander about sniffing each others butts for an hour long second act. Here the “boy loses girl” is actually the climax of the movie, when the harsh reality of American politics, especially being an ambitious yet idealistic woman there, finally gets in the way of the relationship. And except for one obvious Big Bad of the movie everyone else seems real and believable as well, and despite some of them actively working against our protagonists you still sympathize with them, understanding their motives and goals.

Although my newly reinforced scepticism makes me treat the idealistic finale with deep sighs and eye-rolling, I really needed to hear the true message of the story that gets through the romance. It seeps through the dialogue between our lovers in the moments they discuss their ideals versus the reality, if comes from the Scretary’s aides’ comments, but it’s all clear and visible in the best scene of the movie, where Seth Rogen’s character realizes that his best friend is a Christian and that he himself is a racist. That’s where I got the message that helped me get through my own sad reality and that I will take out from this movie forever: that people are more than just a set of labels. That you can still be friends with people despite who they vote for. Or what they believe in.

Well, to an extent, of course. But it is something I needed to hear right now.

You can read this and other reviews on my Letterboxd profile.

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