JUSTIN LONG DREW BARRYMORE
GOING THE DISTANCE
This vulgar romantic comedy gets its paths crossed somewhere between feature film and documentary. Transitioning documentarian director Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture, American Teen) crash lands her first feature film starring real life on/off again couple Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. After seeing the film I wished it had been a documentary because some of the jokes, dialogue and certainly make out sessions felt like a window into these two actors personal lives, plus if it had been a documentary I wouldn’t be writing this review.
After recently being dumped for a lack of commitment, Garrett (Long) meets Erin (Barrymore) who is an intern at a local paper in New York. They fall instantly in love; however Erin must return to San Francisco and complete her degree creating a long distance relationship issue. They both commit to the long distance, seeing each other every three months which is always intense the first day, but nearly impossible when it’s time to be apart again. Both have separate lives on either coast and must find a way to make it or break it.
Going the Distance isn’t your typical romantic comedy, there is so much vulgarity in the film, just for vulgarity’s sake, that it seems the edge they were going for was to pull in the male audience. I’m not sure it this film worked at all, for either sex or any demographic. Most of the jokes which include stabs at genitalia, sex and of course defecation are probably not what most women had in mind when seeking out a film. While any movie starring Barrymore that’s rated R has come to promise colorful language, this script doesn’t take these two actors anywhere they haven’t been before, on or off screen.
The only thing that traveled any distance in this movie was my patience, it seemed to drag on forever as Erin and Garrett run through every possible cliché long distance relationship movies have used in the past (i.e. phone sex, obnoxious texting, and watching the same videos online). The director doesn’t seem to be equip enough to whole heartedly use all the elements that make a feature film what it is, instead she uses what she is familiar with in documentaries and we are left with this empty script and characters that seem more like TV sitcom than fully realized movie roles.
Final Thought – It’s a very short distance, they just take forever to get there.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih