Proof Review: Going The Distance (2010)

Release Date
September 3, 2010
Director
Nanette Burstein
Screenplay
Geoff LaTulippe
Distributed By
Warner Bros. Pictures
Budget
$32 million
Comedy, Romance
Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity
102 minutes

Going The Distance

One day after a break up stemming from an inability to cope with long distance, I ventured out to see “Going The Distance”, a romantic comedy involving Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. The couple in the film come to question whether love is really enough to keep a romance blooming over an entire country’s length. Not only was “Going The Distance” entertaining, but it definitely nailed the situation head on.

Drew Barrymore is hit or miss with her comedy performances. I could split her anthology right down the middle. “Going The Distance” would fall on the “good” side, however, and marked a perfect performance for the gracefully aging actress. Barrymore finds a way to hone perfect timing and delivery to be fresh and funny, an element lacking in most romantic comedies these days. From the moment we meet her, she is cussing like a sailor and devouring saucy buffalo wings. Barrymore signifies that the perfect woman can be imperfect, breaking a stereotype of Hollywood that the female love interest in a film has to be a knock-out.

Interaction gives “Going The Distance” the “step up” in relation to other films in its genre. The interaction between Justin Long and his friends (played by Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) cause for most of the humor. All romantic comedies give the lead a pair of friends (or just one, but who is counting). I have developed a theory that a film can only be as funny as the friends you give the main character. If the friends are not funny, the film is not funny. Charlie Day is one of my favorite comedy actors to-date and the director smartly lets Charlie loose, allowing him to be the eccentric character that he is known for on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. Even Sudeikis finds a way to win me over.

Having had doubts about the mix-match pairing of Drew Barrymore and Justin Long (yes, I know they were/are dated/dating outside the film, but still), their interactions were surprisingly entertaining. The way they played off of each other was just another difference that set it apart from the raunchy romantic comedies coming out today and made the film feel more like “My Best Friends Wedding” or “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” which I deem successfully humorous. You laugh with the couple when they are blossoming and your heart breaks when they reach their low points, but the writers and director masterfully craft a story that hooks you and inspires you.

“Going the Distance” was a film that hit close to home. I compared my real life relationship to it every step of the way and even though it bashed some of my hopes and wishes for getting back together with my ex, the film still held a good message. Sure, there were times I hoped that Justin Long would end up with actress Kelli Garner (the work friend, hottie, temptress), just because of my on-the-fence-ness with Drew Barrymore, but the whole film ended up feeling true and honorable, especially to someone that has first hand experience with the premise.

 

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