Going the Distance (Review)

(9/03/10; Comedy)
Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate
SCR: Geoff LaTulippe
DIR: Nanette Burstein
MPAA: R, for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity.
1 hour 49 mins
BOX: $17,804,299

After a snappy Meet Cute over ‘80s-era video games that leads to a steamy hook-up, thirtysomething hipsters Erin (Barrymore) and Garrett (Long) attempt to have a long-distance relationship after she returns to San Francisco.

On the plus side, LaTulippe’s script is honest and occasionally very funny, allowing ample time to allow Erin and Garrett to develop as believable people. On the other hand, they are still surrounded by grating stock characters from romantic comedy hell and contrived situations (like phone sex gone wrong).

But here is the deal: you’re either going to think this movie is very realistic in its dialogue or you will be put off by the sex talk and F-bombs. If you go with it, there is enough substance in the dialogue and situations to make it worthwhile. If you’re put off by the harsh language, move along, there’s nothing to see here.

This is Burnstein’s first narrative feature after a few high profile documentaries, The Kid Stays in the Picture and American Teen among them.

(New Line Cinema)

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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