Going The Distance Movie Review

by Rick Grant
As far as cliche romantic comedies go, this one is well written and acted by a stellar cast. Justin Long and Drew Barrymore work well together as long distance lovers, Erin and Garrett.
The serendipitous circumstances of their meeting is interesting, since Garrett gets dumped and meets Erin the same night at a single bar. The two actors are convincing that they fell in love on the first night. Erin and Justin skillfully projected that glow of being in love.
Ah, but there is a catch. When her internship runs out at a NYC paper, and they don’t hire her, (they just laid off a hundred reporters) she’s decides to move to San Francisco to take a job as a newspaper reporter while living with her sister Corinne (Christina Applegate).
On the other hand, Garrett is working for a record label scouting talent. His input is completely ignored by his boss Will, played by Ron Livingston in an odd cameo. So, Garrett has to bite the bullet and sign the mediocre bands that Will thinks will be an asset to his label.
In this scenario, Garrett wasn’t really happy with his job and could have quit and followed Erin to San Francisco. This is a flaw in the script since he’s madly in love with her, most any other guy would chuck the job in NYC and take a chance on getting a job in San Francisco. After all, love conquers all!
And so, the two lovers plunge into a bi-coastal relationship by attempting to have phone sex and seeing each other after being months apart. Their lame attempts at phone sex are hilarious. In real life, these relationships seldom work out. Staying monogamous is difficult when both lovers are tempted by other people as their memory of their lover fades in time.
To their credit, despite the temptations, both lovers stay true to one another. But as the months and years go by, the strain of being apart starts to wear them out emotionally.
There are some funny twists and turns. Garrett’s roommate is played by Charlie Day (“It’ Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) who’s a funny guy. Christina Applegate as Erin’s sister Corinne, is a funny stand out in the ensemble.
The film’s good points offset its flaws and in the end it’s a fun time at the movies. It’s a stretch to consider Justin Long as a leading man, but he’s such a fine actor that he overcomes his shortcomings. This movie is a enjoyable getaway on a hot summer night.