Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Long Shot

“FAT: A Documentary” is also new to Blu-Ray this week. 

There’s a quality about Seth Rogen that his female co-stars seem to find appealing. He has a way of putting them at ease so that they, in turn, give energetic and effervescent performances. Part of it is the fact that he is high energy himself and very funny. For other actors, the second part of this ability may be charm or elegance, but Rogen has neither of these qualities. For him, it’s more of a beta quality, where he’s all too eager and happy to be subservient to his co-star.

This characteristic of Rogen’s plays out through his role as Fred Flasky in “Long Shot.” After quitting his job at an independent newspaper, Flasky is invited to a party by his best friend Lance (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) and there he reconnects with Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron). In addition to being Flasky’s former babysitter--as shown in an unnecessary flashback since we get all of the details through dialogue--Field is the current Secretary of State under buffoonish President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk). Chambers is a former television actor who wants to try to make it in the movies. As such, he decides that he will not seek a second term and endorses Field for next POTUS.

Field likes Flasky’s writing, takes him on as speech writer, and we’re off and running as they spend time together and before you know it, sparks fly. While speechwriting is important to any campaign, I can’t help but think that Field spends way more time with her speech writer than most candidates. But if she didn’t, then the story wouldn’t progress as it did, and we wouldn’t get some of the funniest sex scenes ever recorded. Comedy is hard enough, but comedy in a sex scene is even riskier and more difficult to pull off. But my hat is off to the actors for their performances and to director Jonathan Levine for making them work.

The movie also works because Rogen and Theron have a great chemistry and work well together. At the end of the day, at its core, the movie is about two lonely people who find each other and hit it off. They then proceed to have kinky sex and go through the foreshadowed relationship struggles that the movie sets up as obstacles to their happiness. But it’s entertaining as we get to join them and laugh along the way. Rent it.

More New Releases: “FAT: A Documentary,” a history of how the United States was misled into demonizing dietary fat; and “Domino,” about Copenhagen police officer who seeks justice for his partner's murder by a mysterious man, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Carice van Houten, and Guy Pearce.

Andrew Hudak is a lifelong film lover. His column on Blu-Ray new releases appears every Tuesday. He lives in Connecticut.

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