Seth Rogen premiered two hilarious features at SXSW on opening weekend: Long Shot, a political romantic comedy, and Good Boys, a coming-of-age film that’s a cross between South Park and Superbad.
In Long Shot, Rogen plays Fred Flarsky, a Brooklyn-based investigative reporter hired by his boyhood crush, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), to be her campaign speechwriter in her run for U.S. President. Rogen and Theron also produced on the film. Field is an ambitious, self-sufficient, high-performing politician who prioritizes exercise, meditation and napping despite a demanding schedule. Although she doesn’t need a man to feel complete, she finds herself falling for Flarsky and recognizes that she’s happier when she’s with him.
Flarsky wants to be a supportive partner but draws the line at compromising his values. He stands down his arch-nemesis, the corrupt media mogul Parker Wembley (Andy Serkis) and inadvertently causes Field to face a moral dilemma when Wembley hacks into Flarsky’s computer to blackmail her with embarrassing videos. Field’s response is strikingly similar to that of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who recently outed blackmailers that stole selfies from his phone. Although Rogen told me it was purely coincidental that the film wound up having the same plot twist as the real-life drama of Bezos, it’s refreshing to see consensual sexual activity, which once destroyed political careers, depicted as the new normal in Hollywood.
Director Jonathan Levine does an excellent job of keeping the movie moving through adrenaline-charged action sequences and drug-fueled party scenes while showing how competent women can break through the glass ceiling by being their authentic selves. To celebrate International Women’s Day, Lionsgate gave away free drinks during the screening, Flarsky jackets as swag, and they treated the audience to an unexpected Boyz II Men concert, complete with roses for the ladies.
Additionally, Rogen made an appearance at the red carpet and afterparty for the premiere of Good Boys which he co-produced with his best friend Evan Goldberg. The two frequently collaborate. Their hit movies include This Is The End, The Interview, Pineapple Express and Superbad.
Good Boys marks the directorial debut of The Office writer Gene Stupnitsky. The film stars Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon, playing 6th graders who, left to their own devices, get involved in a series of outrageous events in their journey to learn how to kiss.
Both highly-entertaining films, Long Shot opens in theaters on May 3 and Good Boys opens on August 16.
Martine Paris is a freelance tech and entertainment reporter based in San Francisco. She writes for Fast Company, Sea of Reeds publications (Book and Film Globe, Rock and Roll Globe, Fine Arts Globe, Modern Consensus), and other outlets.