Romantic Comedies are now promoting smart, successful and powerful women… and they’re still funny

Hello readers,

It’s been a while since I have done a post, just over six weeks but with university ending for this year and England suddenly becoming a warm country I haven’t found the time. I then saw a great film last night that I knew would make a great review. Long Shot starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen is a romantic comedy but one I had not seen before with the woman more powerful than her love interest. The way of Hollywood and other film industries is that the woman will have a job as a secretary/bakery owner/journalist/teacher or something else. These jobs are, of course all valid and necessary but her male love interest will be a banker/CEO/policeman/her boss or someone with more authority and power. In Long Shot, the roles are flipped.

Long Shot Poster

Charlize Theron plays Charlotte Field, the Secretary of State of the United States. She has all the power, a team of advisers and not much down time. Her love interest, Fred Flarsky, played by Seth Rogen is a junkie journalist who is forced to quit his job and dresses like he’s going to a 90s rave. Charlotte holds all the power between the two and it is her career on the line throughout the film.

Although of course, this is still the real world and the United States of America so even though Charlotte is successful, she is still treated as unequal to the male politicians in the film. She is talks about being asked what her skincare routine is, what designer she is wearing or being treated as just a pretty face. She has to work twice as hard as the men just to be taken seriously as a politician.

The film showed me that women in positions of power often have to fight harder for longer to gain the respect that men seem to gain more easily. The President of the United States in the film played by Bob Odenkirk and is a TV star who previously played the president on a TV show then decided to run for office. I thought that was a fun twist and The President decides he won’t be running for a second term to get into movie acting which he sees as more ambitious then being POTUS.

The main story of the film is that Fred leaves his job then goes to a benefit with his successful friend, Lance, played by O’Shea Jackson Jr. They run into Charlotte who used to be Fred’s babysitter when he was a teenager. Charlotte decides that to up her humour points, she has to hire Fred to write her speeches. The two go on a tour promoting Charlotte’s ‘bees, trees and seas’ environmental plan that she has been passionate about since she was 16.

While touring around the world, Fred and Charlotte reconnect and get to know each other better. Fred helps Charlotte to relax more and develop interests outside of her job. As this is a Seth Rogen film, he off course smokes weed and one hilarious scene involves Charlotte and Fred going clubbing in Paris after having taken drugs. Charlotte then has to deal with a hostage situation whilst still high.

The villain of the film, Parker Wembley played by Andy Serkis in some prosthetics, runs Wembley News that makes ridiculous claims and tries to discredit Charlotte. He continues trying to get a meeting with her after she persistently turns him down. It is his actions that almost ruin Charlotte’s career.

This film is laugh out loud funny which was not compromised despite the politics and feminism woven throughout the plot. There were no politically incorrect jokes or degrading comments made about women that were not self-aware or seen as bad within the film.

My friend Terry who I went to see the film with said that she liked the way that Charlotte “manages to achieve her goals without compromising her beliefs and still get the guy.” Terry also said that Charlotte “felt really real to me. She felt like a real person. You don’t often feel that in rom coms, especially with the female characters.” I agree with Terry and I think that a big part of the reason we both liked the film was that Charlotte was a smart successful woman but she could still be vulnerable and she still had feelings and hurdles to overcome in the film with her romantic life and her job.

I loved this film and Seth and Charlize had great chemistry that helped make their relationship seem believable. If you like rom coms but are tired of the man always being in power and the woman shown as weak, sexualised, ditsy or nerdy then this is the film for you. It is a 15 and there are some raunchy scenes but nothing too intense, it is a rom com after all.

Happy Watching,

Robyn

P.S. Other films I have enjoyed since last writing a blog post are Shazam!, Dumbo, Avengers: Endgame, Wild Rose, Wine Country, Ideal Home, Dog Days, The Perfect Date and The Last Summer.

TV series I have loved watching since my last post are The Society, Dead To Me, Now Apocalypse, Timeless, Z Nation, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Durrells, Special and On My Block.

About indie-film-fanatic00

Film Student at Oxford Brookes
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