In the comment thread of my 4.24 Long Shot review, “AuggieBenDoggie” noted the basic premise — dorky, blunt-spoken journalist (Seth Rogen) falls for a dishy Secretary of State (Charlize Theron) who’s way, way out of his league — and asked if it isn’t the same basic idea behind Continental Divide (’81), in which John Belushi played a stocky reporter who tumbled for Blair Brown‘s Rocky Mountain scientist.
In both films the women reciprocate the feelings of the male journalists and actually invite them into their beds. Except that the Belushi-Brown pairing is a lot less of a stretch than the Rogen-Theron romance, which has struck some as fairly ridiculous.
HE reply: Yes, there’s a rough similarity between Long Shot and Continental Divide, but the latter — directed by Michael Apted, written by Lawrence Kasdan — is a much more grown-up, more emotionally earnest comedy — a galaxy apart from Long Shot. As in “actually tethered to a semblance of the real world.” Compared to Long Shot, Continental Divide is a Lubitsch film. And Belushi isn’t half bad as the tough, Mike Royko-like Chicago journalist.
By the way: Here’s a striking photo of Belushi’s sheet-wrapped body being rolled out of the Chateau Marmont in front of a journalist wolf-pack. It kind of reminds me of the last moments of Sunset Boulevard — the same mix of pity, sadness and lurid headlines. The photo is part of a Hollywood Reporter excerpt from Shawn Levy‘s “The Castle on Sunset” (Doubleday, 5.7), which I’ve read and highly approve of.