Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is one of the most influential women in the world. Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she's a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for... well, mostly everything. Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free spirited journalist with a self-destructive streak.
The two have nothing in common, however sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance that becomes embroiled in a series of dangerous and outlandish incidents.
As the two actors hit the screen together for the first time in romantic comedy Long Shot, we look at why pairing them up was a long shot that paid off.
Their on-screen chemistry is HOT
“You can buy chemistry in a can,” jokes Charlize Theron. “You can fake it,” adds Seth Rogen. But having watched thousands of lacklustre rom-coms with unconvincing relationship arcs and awkward screen kisses, we all know that’s not true.
So, witnessing two actors with what seems to be a natural rapport and a real- life spark is a welcome surprise. The chemistry particularly works because the characters have a past connection – Theron’s Charlotte used to babysit Seth’s Fred, which (if you ignore the slight ickiness) explains why they’re drawn to each other more than any old strangers whose eyes meet across a crowded political party.
They bring the perfect mix of comedy and drama
“We were always trying to make a movie that harkened back to movies of the 80s – just really quality comedy. A romantic comedy that was both romantic and funny,” says director Jonathan Levine. “For us we really wanted to make a feel-good, happy and very, very funny film-going experience.”
The result is an enjoyable combination of slapstick pratfalls and stoner shenanigans (Rogen) and smart, sarcastic observational humour about sexist double standards (slickly delivered by Theron).
They’re the iconic mismatched couple
Fred is an idealistic journalist with a penchant for trouble. In many ways another version of the dopey, self-deprecating man-child Rogen is known for – this time dressed up in a neon windbreaker that hasn’t been in fashion since... ever. Charlotte, on the other hand, is campaigning to be president running herself ragged.
This is why she needs Fred – a connection to a past before the fancy dinners and photoshoots – while Fred needs to be reminded that having a touch of ambition isn’t necessarily giving in to the system.
They are equally likeable
More often than not, a rom-com has one character the audience identifies with, and one whose behaviour makes us a touch queasy, even if we know they’ll learn the error of their ways in time for a happy ending.
Both have faults, but both are deserving of happiness from the get-go. Rogen isn’t just the loveable loser, he’s actually very smart with a strong sense of justice. And Theron isn’t just the uptight workaholic, she also has an idealistic side and is emotionally intelligent in a way “career women” aren’t often portrayed. Proper three-dimensional characters in a Hollywood rom-com – quite the long shot!