SETH ROGAN is Fred Flarsky, a left-wing investigative journalist for a news website akin to The Daily Beast or buzzfeed. When it is bought by a Rupert Murdoch-like news mogul named Parker Wembley he quits.
Out drowning his sorrows he ends up at a gala with the current US Secretary of state, the ambitious Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron ), with a plan to run in the next election. It turns out they were in high school together. When her election team is looking at her appeal to voters they notice she does not score well in the funny section. She convinces her team to bring Fred aboard as a scriptwriter. From there they develop a unlikely romantic relationship.
People have been lamenting the death of the mid-price movie now for years, everything is either a massive Star Wars/comic book movie or else a low budget indie. Here we have something rare - a mid budget romantic comedy for adults.
It is excellent counter programming against the onslaught of blockbusters. Unfortunately, the gamble does not pay off and this film is looking like a financial disaster. This is a shame as I laughed plenty, was engaged, and believed the romance. Until the last 20 minutes I really did not know what way it was going to work out (which on reflection was silly, if you have seen one romantic comedy you know where it is going pretty quick ), but a testament to the writing that I, at least momentarily, got caught up in the 'will they won’t they'.
Theron is brilliant. To pull off such a funny role while still making you believe she could be president is impressive. Indeed she is straight onto my Top 5 fictional US presidents list. Rogan is doing his usually shabby slacker thing that he could do in his sleep but he is so charismatic that it really works.
The politics did leave me a little cold, I think I’m usually on my own when I say I find the Aaron Sorokin style grand standing politics of The West Wing a little eye roll inducing and I really find the whole Pod Save America movement a little annoying. This movie leans into that. In fact there are similarities to Jon Favreau (host of Pod Save America ), Obamas frat boy speech writer hired when was 23.
Overall this is a movie people should go and support. The fate of the world is not at stake and it has a cheesy final 20 minutes of racing across town make a decoration of love. Yet, like all great rom-coms it works because of its leads. They are charismatic and having fun and I really would vote for Charlize Theron to be US president. I say that even after seeing Monster.