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September 3, 2010 > Movie Review: Going the Distance

Movie Review: Going the Distance

By Heidi Leung

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long's latest romantic comedy, "Going the Distance," is an enjoyable blend of awkwardness and crude frat boy humor. The tag line is "a comedy about meeting each other half way." This is an accurate and precise description for the film as it literally sits right on the borderline of "chick flick" and "bromance".

The film is about addressing whether or not love can survive the ordeals presented by a long-distance relationship. Erin (Barrymore) is in New York for an internship at the New York Sentinel. She meets Garrett (Long), a commitment-phobic, fresh out of a relationship, at a bar where her honesty and sarcasm impresses him so much that he asks if she'd be willing to see him again. She gives her consent only after telling him that she's not looking for a relationship; she has to go back to San Francisco in six weeks. Of course after spending the summer together in a non-relationship, the two decide that they actually want to be in a relationship, even if it means being on different coasts. This is where the story begins and continues with a non-stop onslaught of genius one-liners and disgusting, but funny scenarios.

In Going the Distance, there is too much of everything. It's tough to decide whether it's a good or bad thing when a film is so fast-paced. In this particular case, it is a little irritating because it is filled with line after line of quotable dialogue but one can't fully concentrate on what happens next because it's inaudible due to laughter. There is also an extreme amount of cussing - hence the R-rating - and too much of a particular character.

Barrymore's depiction of Erin is problematic, a one-dimensional, black and white depiction of what guys think they want in a girl. She's blatant, crude, likes gender-neutral films such as Shawshank Redemption, and is not shy about voyeurism when it comes to her sexual encounters. Erin is so blatantly a guy's best friend, that she may as well be a guy, ruining the romantic part of this romantic comedy. Luckily, this is flaw is not fatal for the film which is saved by Long's humorous and sweet Garrett. Even in his less than perfect moments, he is charming and loveable.

A trend appearing in films is the show-stealing side characters; this film is filled with them. Christina Applegate as Corinne, Erin's obsessive compulsive and protective sister, lights up the screen whenever she appears. Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day, Garrett's best friend and roommate, are the sole deliverers of the best lines in the film (credit should be given to writer Geoff LaTulippe).

Overall, Going the Distance is a film worth watching by both men and women. Keep in mind that it's actually more comedy than romance even if it is about relationships. This may be the perfect line to pitch to a guy friend or boyfriend who is reluctant to be dragged to yet another "girly" movie.

Rated: R for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity.

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