"Going the Distance" Movie Review

9/07/2010 Posted by Admin

"Going the Distance"

Movie Review

Directed by Nanette Burstein, Written by Geoff LaTulippe, 107 Minutes, Rated R

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

"Going the Distance" is troubling. Most everything about its outside appearance--the sappy poster, the typical date-movie kind of marketing, and even the cast--make it seem like your everyday romantic comedy. And in many ways it is. But then the characters start talking and the vulgarities come charging through, and it's at once jarring but slowly becomes rather grating and obnoxious. And it wouldn't be such a problem if the film could ever decide whether to be a Judd Apatow comedy or "Sleepless in Seattle."

Justin Long and Drew Barrymore, a real-life couple, star as Garrett and Erin. Garrett works at a record company in New York City. His job isn't really that important to the plot, but it does make for some awkwardly obvious advertising for indie band The Boxer Rebellion. More important is Erin's job--she's interning at a New York newspaper and has to go home to San Francisco in six weeks, so when the two meet and hook up they expect it to be a brief summer fling that they can subsequently move along from. It doesn't quite work out that way, and when the time comes for Erin to leave, the two care enough about each other to give a long-distance relationship a try.

What follows is wackiness and melodrama of all sorts, about half of which is of much interest.

It all pretty much pans out like you'd expect, which really makes it all the more bizarre how odd the writing is. Sometimes it's sweet, sometimes it's sappy, sometimes it's unbelievably raunchy, and occasionally it's rather witty, but none of it melds together particularly well. Often it's like watching five different movies crammed into one.

When it's not confounding or irritating, though, the film tends to work. It was an inspired decision to cast a real couple as the two leads, and it worked out pretty perfectly. Long and Barrymore have excellent chemistry and play very well off of each other, and ultimately it makes for one of the most believable screen romances for quite a while.

The rest of the cast is pretty solid--Charlie Day of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" fame gets his first major role here as Long's roommate Dan, and though he's mostly given typical goofball material to work with, he does some great things with the performance. Jason Sudeikis and Jim Gaffigan get some funny stuff as well--Christina Applegate, who plays Erin's overbearing sister, isn't as lucky.

Mostly the film is just flat. It's funny, and the actors are all just fine, but it never really seems to take on any life and the whole conflict of the long-distance relationship never gains much weight beyond being a catalyst for the cliched plot. It's not really a bad comedy, but it's uneven enough that a lot of people going in expecting something specific, like a regular romantic comedy or a fun Apatow-type thing, will be pretty confused with what they get.

Grade: C

The trailer for "Going the Distance" is below.  What did you think of the movie?

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes


  1. Chris said...

    From Producer, Writer to Cast you would think its a predestinated failure, but ironically all this might contribute to its success.