I’ll get two things out of the way before I start this review:
- I am a huge fan of Charlize Theron and she can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes (Yes, I even forgive her for the awful Aeon Flux)
thinkthought Seth Rogen is a bit of a one trick pony that can’t really act.
The pairing of these two struck me as rather odd, but then that’s the whole point of this film: two people from very disparate walks of life get together and find love. Yup, it’s a millennial version of Pretty Woman (but better and less sleazy).
This one of of those films that I figured they’d put all of the best bits in the trailer and the rest would be fluffy filler material that lead from one gag to the next.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This film is a laugh-riot from start to finish – I can’t remember the last film that had me chortling through the whole movie rather than just select parts.
The story revolves around journalist Fred Flarsky (Rogen) who quits his job after his newspaper his bought out by an aging Australian Media tycoon (remind you of anyone?) who’s got quite a close relationship with the President of the USA who used to star in a popular TV show (remind you of anyone?)
Theron plays Charlotte Field, the put-upon Secretary of State who has sacrificed her ideals and life in order to get to a position of power within the government. When the President announces to her that he won’t stand for a second term as he wants to get into the movies (let’s hope life imitates art on this one) Field seizes the opportunity to stand for President.
A chance meeting with Flarsky at a benefit evening brings together the former babysitter with her ward and she signs him onto her team to pep up her speeches and comedy and romance ensue.
Now, as I said, Theron can do no wrong in my eyes and that’s certainly true with this role. She plays Field with a warmth and depth that really brings the character to life on the screen and her comic timing really shines through as well.
When I saw the trailer I thought “Here we go, Rogen does prat falls and that’s his role in the movie.” Well, I will freely admit that I sorely underestimated him and his acting ability.
Rogen plays Flarsky as a bristly but lovable character that likes to rail against big media and has deeply rooted principles. This causes him a few issues with not only his career but his relationships with friends too.
And, while there are a couple of hilarious prat falls from Rogen, the chemistry he has with Theron and the depth he brings to Flarsky really make you invested in his character and the relationship he has with Field. I have to say I was truly surprised at his acting in this film and will certainly look at him in a different light from now on.
While this film is a comedy there are some serious undertones to it. Sure, it doesn’t go into the depths of political manoeuvring that the excellent TV Series Madam Secretary does, but it does give insight into the types of sacrifices people in places of power have to make in order to achieve at least part of their goal – although I can’t imagine Hillary Clinton or Condoleezza Rice negotiating a terrorist deal while high on illegal substances!
It’s not often I say to people that they need to see a film but this is one of those rare films that you have to watch. If the preview audience I saw the film with is anything to go by you’ll love it – there was even clapping which I’ve only ever heard once before (and that was a Michael Moore documentary!)
Watch this film if you’re in need of a pick-me-up and fancy a romantic comedy that’s actually comedic and not as soppy as hell.