- Running time:
- 102 minutes
- Drew Barrymore -
- Justin Long -
- Charlie Day -
- Jason Sudeikis -
- Christina Applegate -
It’s an instant love connection when aspiring journalist Erin (Drew Barrymore) and music rep Garrett (Justin Long) meet at a New York City bar. They drink, eat wings, play trivia, smoke pot and bond over “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Top Gun.” But there’s a problem: in just a few weeks, Erin goes back home to San Francisco. So Erin and Garrett decide to try a long distance relationship, even though his friends (Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis) and her sister (Christina Applegate) are skeptical it can work.
The buzz: Barrymore and Long are an on-and-off couple in real life, which makes their on screen pairing extra cute or extra creepy, depending on your point of view. The director, Nanette Burstein, is a documentary filmmaker (“American Teen,” “Going the Distance”) making her fiction debut with a script from first-time writer Geoff LaTulippe. In an unusual move, “Distance” was pushed back a week shortly before it was expected to open on August 27. That date remained on posters and billboards. Hopefully you didn’t try to buy a ticket last week.
The verdict: “Going the Distance” isn’t a standard rom-com, but that doesn’t mean it’s not familiar. A little too obviously inspired by Judd Apatow’s success at mixing romance and raunch, “Distance” confuses dirty with cool and improv-ready characters with real people. When the action isn’t self-consciously cute (hooking up to the sounds of Berlin’s “Top Gun” love theme; watching YouTube’s sneezing baby panda video online from different cities), it’s unusually racy (explicit phone sex gone awry; a demonstration of why it’s a bad idea to have sex in your sister’s dining room). Burstein’s attempts to add some depth to the characters through their work lives also backfires in simplistic portrayals of the music and journalism industries. Some of the comedy works, and the casting helps—Barrymore and Long have a natural rapport and plenty of able support from Day, Sudeikis and a standout Applegate—but for all the movie’s attempts to keep the action real and relatable, only formula shines through.
Did you know? Although San Francisco plays a prominent role in the story, the entire movie was filmed in New York, with only a few establishing exteriors shot in San Francisco.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Going the Distance in Cincinnati.
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