SMART and sassy, Long Shot has to be one of the first movies that successfully combines politics and contemporary rom com.

Almost every aspect of director Jonathan Levine’s story stretches credibility but the cast are so charismatic and funny and the script is so well crafted that it is easy to suspend your disbelief.

Charlize Theron plays US Secretary of State Charlotte Field who is preparing to make a run as the first female president.

She then bumps into Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), her old next door neighbour and the kid she used to babysit who has now made a name for himself as an idealistic and unconventional journalist.

The goofy but charming writer is recruited to punch up Charlotte’s speeches but as the pair reminisce about their youth, sparks begin to fly for the unlikely couple – which causes a world of trouble for the scrutiny of a very public campaign.

Sounds cheesy? That is because it is. You can tick off all the expected messages like follow your heart, be yourself, seize the day.

But the chemistry between Theron and Rogen is convincing and the film is particularly well paced in the first half when it is more about the human beings behind the trappings of politics and power than it is about romance.

Yes, you are best avoiding Long Shot if you do not like Rogen – he always plays the same sort of character in his films and this is no exception. But his character takes the lion’s share of the best lines and he is backed up by a great ensemble that includes O’Shea Jackson Jr, Bob Odenkirk and Andy Serkis.

The impression it gives of the chambers of power is hardly authentic, the second half sags a little and the ending is predictable (and ridiculous).

But yet it is genuinely difficult to dislike this feel-good movie which leaves you with a grimace – watch out for the Something About Mary inspired moment – followed by a beaming smile.

RATING: 7.5/10