‘Going The Distance’ Indeed

Who can say that Drew Barrymore and Justin Long aren’t a charismatic couple? Not me. They’re as cute as a basket full of kittens. But after sitting through this hodgepodge of a film, I’d felt that I went the distance by making it to the end credits.

I’m the type that doesn’t watch trailers, check ratings or read reviews before I see a film. I prefer to watch with only the preconceived notion the poster conveys.

The movie focuses on Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (the newly buff Justin Long). She is a journalism grad student wrapping up a summer internship at a New York newspaper; he works for a record company based in the city. Erin and Garrett meet over an old school video game, get stoned, have sex and become a couple. But once her internship ends, she heads back to California and the two struggle to make a long-distance relationship work.

Romantic comedy, light, fun, with a melancholy arc somewhere in there. A chick flick. Right? Going The Distance is not your typical chick flick. But that’s not my beef. I’m all for breaking the mold – I hope for a fresh story & unexpected plot twists every single time. But this didn’t deliver.

Within the first 20 minutes, I could literally hear the studio heads’ dialog in my head while watching. “Let’s make a chick flick but put a bunch of dick jokes in there so it’s a one stop shop.”

I’m not saying I didn’t laugh out loud on many occasions. There are some really hilarious moments. In fact, there’s a scene with a drunken Erin and her co-worker / pal Damon (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and a juice head in a bar that’s worth the price of admission alone. Nearly fell out of my seat laughing. I never give spoilers but this scene works because it’s based in truth. We’ve all either been there or have witnessed it before.

Christina Applegate’s “Corinne” (Erin’s sister) is neither here nor there. Applegate was a poor casting choice – anyone could have played her part, and better.

Jason Sudeikis (never disappoints) & Charlie Day provide some good laughs but they can only do so much with what they were given. God bless ‘em for trying.

In conclusion, the film failed because the script failed — Going The Distance is a poorly executed mash up of 20 other movies / TV shows with a super sappy (truly cringe worthy) ending. It’s the Taco Town of movies. It doesn’t know what it wants to be.

Bottom Line: Girls night out flick, after you’ve already hit the bar or smoked what Erin & Garrett are smoking.

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