Thursday, August 26, 2010


Going the Distance travels to a territory not often visited in Romantic Comedies: Long Distance Love in this age of Text Messaging and Webcams. Erin (Drew Barrymore) is an aspiring Journalist temporarily in New York City, where she meets an A&R Representative Garrett (Justin Long) on an off-chance at a Bar one night.

Garrett is just coming out of a relationship and soon before he knows it, he's falling for Erin as the sparks fly between them right away. There's only one catch though - Erin must head off to San Francisco for school shortly after completing her Internship. The two decide to try out a Long Distance Relationship regardless off the odds being stacked against them, and the story touches upon the realities and pitfalls of lovers being apart from one another, even with todays' Technologies.

Despite their off-screen romance, Long and Barrymore seem to lack that spark for much of the movie,  in order to have us root for them. Part way through the film, we begin to wonder why they even bother fighting for their relationship without a solid enough foundation. And although I do love Barrymore, she was miscast here, struggling to be convincingly evoke that level of vulnerability required of Erin.  Instead, she comes off perhaps too self-assured for a girl who really spends most of the film not knowing what she really wants in life - career or relationship?

Christina Applegate as Erin's older sister Corinne is sorely under-utilized, appearing sour-faced for the few scenes in which she appears, while Charlie Day as Dan, is a Scene-stealer with a Zach Galifianakis-like goofiness in some brilliantly improvised spots. Director Nanette Burstein never really gets the best out of Long and Barrymore until far too late in the film when the story finally gains a sense of focus.  By then, we gain some sense of a true connection between the two lovers as things tie-together nicely.

Warner Bros.' Going the Distance skims the surface, but hardly dives deep enough to be rewarding despite its few laughable moments.  It hits theatres September 3, 2010.  Grade: C

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