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Fred Flarsky is a quirky, bold journalist who’s known for his personable-but-profane writing. But his writing career comes to a screeching halt when the newspaper he works for is bought out by a corrupt businessman.
Unemployed and aimless, Fred spends his first jobless night at a fancy dinner party for the powerful and wealthy. He doesn’t expect to run into anyone he knows, let alone his former babysitter/childhood crush, Charlotte Field.
And oh, by the way, she's now the most powerful woman in the world, too: Secretary of State Charlotte Field.
A go-getter, Charlotte is determined, eloquent and beautiful. But she’s not very likeable, really. Which is a problem, especially as she prepares to run for the 2020 presidential election.
So, in an effort to reach a wider audience, Charlotte hires Fred to bring some life to her speeches. After all, he's got a reputation as a guy who knows how to tell it like it is.
Fred, of course jumps at the opportunity of a lifetime to help Charlotte win the election. And to woo her along the way, too, even if that potential romance seems like a long shot indeed.
Secretary of State Charlotte Field is disciplined, intelligent, intentional, poised and beautiful. It’s implied that she’s always been a high achiever and that she's always sought to change the world for the better. And when Charlotte is unexpectedly reunited with Fred, she sees in him a potential for greatness that he doesn’t see in himself. She remembers him as a funny, intelligent kid, and she thinks she can help him.
Fred, in turn, helps Charlotte remember who she is. He reminds her of her value. He encourages her to fight for what she believes in and not to cave in to the masses. And although he’s known for being rash, judgmental and impulsive, he eventually apologizes to those he hurts and tries to be respectful. Additionally, Fred fights for what he believes in, he doesn’t cave to social pressures, and he realizes his own self-worth.
Fred’s best friend, Lance, encourages Fred and tells him to remember that he is “worthy of love,” no matter what others might say. Similar themes in the film emphasize acceptance, self-love and determination.
Lance encourages Fred to be proactive, saying, “the Universe is trying to talk to you” and telling Fred that he has “destiny” on his side. Fred briefly ridicules Lance when he learns that Lance is “a man of Christian faith” who prays for him and wears a cross necklace.
Fred and Charlotte have sex twice. The first time we see both Fred and Charlotte struggle to take off their pants. (Fred takes his shirt off, but Charlotte doesn’t.) We see movements and hear plenty of sounds as they narrate what’s happening. The second time, the camera focuses on her backside (she's wearing a dress) as she asks Fred to choke her and to engage in other sadomasochistic acts (though we don't actually see much of those).
Charlotte gets blackmailed by a wealthy businessman who threatens to release a graphic video of Fred masturbating, something that's visually suggested but not shown. Later, that video goes viral and many explicit jokes are heard about it. An earlier scene shows Fred as a 13-year old boy being physically aroused by his older, attractive babysitter after he kisses her.
We hear a plethora of sexual jokes and verbal gags involving having sex with someone’s mother, erections, ejaculation, masturbation, sexual positions and gay sex.
Male news anchors (from a conservative news channel) make various sexist and degrading remarks (about menstruation, intelligence and physicality) about women. An elderly, misogynistic man believes that hurricanes are caused by gay marriage.
A man jokingly tells his friend not to “kill any hookers.” A wealthy ruler invites a woman back to his room, but she declines. Maggie, Charlotte’s right hand woman, walks out of a colleague’s room after having sex. Couples flirt, slow dance, make out and kiss.
Fred jumps out of a window (several stories high), "bounces" off of a car and lands on pavement. Later, he trips down a large flight of stairs and smacks his face off of the ground. Both scenes are played as slapstick physical comedy, the latter becoming another viral video hit.
Fred, Charlotte and a few others are rushed to a safe zone after their building is bombed. Fred and Charlotte help carry two injured people to safety. A man is hit in the head with a coffee mug. Charlotte says she was once terrified to share an elevator with Saddam Hussein. A movie scene shows several men being shot.
Crude or Profane Language
God’s name is misused more than 20 times, occasionally paired with “d--n,” while Jesus’ name is misused five times. Nearly 130 f-words are uttered, as well more than 50 s-words. Other profanity includes multiple uses of “d--mit,” “h---,” “b--ch” “p-ss,” “d--k,” a--” and “a--hole.” Some of these profanities show up in Fred’s published articles.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Fred talks about weed. When he's invited to visit the Secretary of State, he empties his pockets of bagged marijuana, a joint, a vaping pen, cocaine and other unnamed pills.
Fred and Charlotte take the drug Molly (which is closely related to Ecstasy) multiple times at a party. The side effects of the drug do not wear off in time for a hostage negotiation (although all ends well). Acid and Molly are referenced elsewhere, too.
Men and women consume beer, wine, champagne, hard liquor and shots at parties, social gatherings, bars and their homes. (Various characters are also clearly inebriated at various times.) A man asks for an alcoholic beverage laced with CBD oil. Men and women alike smoke cigarettes.
Other Negative Elements
Fred can be difficult and stubborn, and he's infamous for acting irrationally. He acts out when he doesn’t get his way and struggles to communicate clearly during disagreements. He yells at an archnemesis in public, embarasses the Secretary of State and is quick to judge others.
Charlotte’s aide, Maggie, jokingly tells Fred that he should expect to get his heart broken by the politician. Other scenes make it very clear that everyone thinks Fred is out of Charlotte’s league.
Fred nearly gets a swastika tattoo while trying to uncover details about a white supremacy group. The men utter hateful slurs against Jewish people, and each reveals a swastika tattoo.
A few lighthearted jokes about race are heard. Other jokes include sarcastic remarks about one particular political party and an unfit presidential candidate.
A woman confesses to using the bathroom in a handbag. A guy admits that when he was 12, he urinated on a dog.
Long Shot is everything you'd expect from an R-rated comedy starring Seth Rogen. But it’s spruced up a bit by the presence of actress Charlize Theron.
Whereas most other films in this genre can be almost completely content-laden, this one actually has some likeable, funny characters who fight for good causes. And it’s always nice to see a romantic comedy where the underdog is valued.
But that's where we stop using the word nice as an adjective to describe this movie in any other way. Simply put, Long Shot's suggestive sex scenes, explicit banter and constant barrage of harsh profanity are anything but.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Charlize Theron as Charlotte Field; Seth Rogen as Fred Flarsky; June Diane Raphael as Maggie Millikin; O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Lance; Ravi Patel as Tom; Bob Odenkirk as President Chambers; Andy Serkis as Parker Wembley; Tristan D. Lalla as Agent M; Alexander Skarsgård as Prime Minister James Steward; Aviva Mongillo as Young Charlotte; Braxton Herda as Young Fred; Lisa Kudrow as Katherine
Jonathan Levine ( )
May 3, 2019