Going the Distance (R16)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner9/09/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 102 mins

Watchable romcom, enlivened by a frequently funny script and strong comic performances from a superb cast, though the script can't quite resolve the problems raised by real life long-distance relationships and the finale seems like something of a cop-out as a result.

What's it all about?
Directed by Nanette Burstein (American Teen), Going the Distance stars Drew Barrymore as Erin, an intern on a New York paper who finds herself falling for record label employee Garrett (Justin Long), despite knowing that she has to return to San Francisco when her internship ends. However, when the time comes for Erin to leave, the pair decide to give the long-distance relationship thing a go, despite scepticism from both Garrett's best friends (Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) and Erin's sister and brother-in-law (Christina Applegate and Jim Gaffigan).

The Good
Real life on-again, off-again couple Long and Barrymore make an extremely likeable onscreen duo, generating an appealingly goofy chemistry right from the start. There's also terrific comic support from Applegate and Gaffigan (both of whom get the film's biggest laughs) and Sudeikis and Day.

In getting to grips with long-distance relationships the script is spot-on in some places (e.g. perfectly capturing the anxiety when someone doesn't call at their usual time) and not-so-good in others. For example, having established Erin and her sister communicating over webcam, the film then has Erin and Garrett doing most of their communicating over the phone, presumably because the obligatory phone-sex scene (which they sort of cop out of) is less embarrassing to watch than the webcam equivalent. That said, the dialogue is often very funny and the script deserves points for working in observations about the current job market and making them relevant to the plot.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that when it finally has to address the central problem faced by every couple in a long-distance relationship (i.e. that sooner or later, someone has to give up everything and move), its solution seems like a bit of a cop-out and, without giving away the ending, the person involved gets something of a free pass from their friends or family.

Worth seeing?
Going the Distance is an enjoyable romcom with likeable characters and a frequently funny script but it ultimately falls back on the traditional romcom formula rather than actually getting to grips with its central premise. Worth seeing all the same.

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Going the Distance (R16)
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Content updated: 14/11/2019 02:01

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