DVD review: Three cheers for the smart and hilarious romantic comedy that is Going the Distance. Real-life on-again/off-again couple Drew Barrymore and Justin Long make a believable, relatable silver-screen duo, but it’s the supporting cast members who steal the show.
Erin (Drew Barrymore) has six weeks left in the Big Apple before she heads back to Stanford for her second year of business school. She’s completely focused on turning her internship at the New York Sentinel into a full-time job—until she meets Garrett (Justin Long) at a hole-in-the-wall bar one night. Their mutual affection for Centipede and Top Gun makes for a great first date, and Garrett knows he’s found someone special once Erin proves she can roll with his meddlesome roomie (Charlie Day), who likes to blast “Take My Breath Away” whenever he senses (through the wall) that the new lovebirds might be in need of a romantic atmosphere.
Over the course of a month and a half, Erin and Garrett realize that they really, really, really like each other, yet Erin’s goin’ back to Cali. The twosome has no choice but to give the long-distance thing a shot.
Throughout the rest of the film, director Nanette Burnstein (American Teen) and screenwriter Geoff LaTulippe focus on the trials and tribulations of attempting to have a serious relationship—to keep that ol’ fire a-burnin’—when you might only see your object of affection once every three or four months. Erin turns to her blunt, protective sister (Christina Applegate, who nails every terse one-liner she’s given—she’s nothing short of brilliant) for a shoulder to cry on, while Garrett bemoans the situation to his aforementioned roommate, as well as his friend “Box” (SNL’s Jason Sudeikis). Though a lot of the back-and-forth between the girls and the guys is raunchy and pithy, it still rings true, and I found myself much more impressed with the film than I thought I was going to be. Sure, I predicted how it would all end about a half-hour in, but we’re not really going to see rom-coms for their twists and turns, now are we?