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Movie Review: Going the Distance

September 3, 2010

Going The Distance – A Warner Bros. Release

Release Date: September 3rd, 2010

Rated 14A

Running time: 103 minutes

Nanette Burstein (dir.)

Geoff LaTulippe (screenwriter)

Mychael Danna (music)

Drew Barrymore as Erin

Justin Long as Garrett

Charlie Day as Dan

Jason Sudeikis as Box

Christina Applegate as Corinne

Ron Livingston as Will

Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Damon

Jim Gaffigan as Phil

© 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Jessica Miglio

GTD-10153r: (L-r) JUSTIN LONG as Garrett and DREW BARRYMORE as Erin in New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy “GOING THE DISTANCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Our reviews below:


Going the Distance Review By John C.

*1/2 (out of 4)

Last week Warner released and I reviewed Flipped – a wonderful and innocent look at first love.  This week they’ve got Going the Distance – the worst romantic-comedy since, well, earlier this year.  Lead actors Drew Barrymore and Justin Long are both likable personalities, but neither one has ever been able to save a bad movie – this one is no exception.

After being dumped by his girlfriend for lack of getting her a birthday present, Garrett (Justin Long) heads out to the bar to get drunk with his buddies.  There he meets Erin (Drew Barrymore) who’s there after a depressing day interning at a fictional New York newspaper.  They get wasted together, head back to his place, take a couple of drags on a bong, and have their hook up set to music courtesy of Garret’s obnoxious room-mate, (Charlie Day).  The next morning is what happens after all one night stands – they’re officially in love.

But after the summer, Erin must head back to San Francisco to live with her obnoxious sister (Christina Applegate), her dead-end brother-in-law (Jim Gaffigan) and her bratty niece.  As rocky as the situation is, Garret and Erin remain in a long distance relationship, with plenty of mishaps along the way.  This all leads up to a predictable conclusion that would have been sweeter had the rest not been so raunchy.

With the storyline and needlessly foul script, it would be presumed that this is a college romance.  But the main characters are meant to be in their early thirties.  With the extent of a punchline being the f-word and disturbed jokes about Hitler, the level of humour in this movie seemed as if it was written by a couple of thirteen year olds.  Unfunny 13 year olds, that is, who’ve just heard about dry humping and oral sex.

This had the potential to be an intelligent, touching and funny film in the vein of the outstanding (500) Days of Summer.  But here is a film about relationships as dumb as that one was smart.  Too rude to be romantic and too dumb to be funny, Going the Distance is just another in a long line of misjudged romantic-comedies.


Going The Distance Review By Erin V.

** (out of 4)

Garrett (Justin Long) and Erin (Drew Barrymore) meet and fall into a seemingly shallow relationship in Going The Distance.  After her summer in New York – where she met Garrett – Erin is going back to California.  The relationship was what they both agreed would just be a summer fling, until at the end of it they realize neither wants to actually part ways.  Thus begins their long-distance relationship.

Some romantic movies seem very genuine.  (500) Days of Summer, Flipped, etc., come to mind.  But as well as those movies worked and made me want to see them again, this one didn’t.  I didn’t hate the film per se, but I wasn’t overly interested and my mind did wander.

The script wasn’t that well done – the plot points were pretty obvious, which can happen in a good movie too, but only if it’s enjoyable like watching an old favourite.  Also, the humour was pretty lowbrow and although I admit to laughing a few times, it was more in spite of myself and it really was the odd time for the running length.

Just over a week after seeing it, much has already slipped my memory, which only happens to me with boring films.  So basically, it’s a forgettable film worth a rental at best.


Going The Distance Review By Nicole

** (out of 4)

Going The Distance is a mediocre comedy about a long distance relationship.  Garrett (Justin Long) is a record producer living in New York.  After breaking up with his girlfriend, he meets Erin (Drew Barrymore), a young intern from California who is writing for a local newspaper.  They “fall in love” (more like lust,) in just a few weeks.  But when Erin’s internship is over, and she goes back home, the two try to keep in touch long distance by phoning, Skyping, and texting each other.  But since the relationship is purely carnal, they can’t wait to see each other again.

Going The Distance should have been a sweet romantic comedy.  Instead, it is a boring and rude film with no real sense of romance.  (What ever happened to building a real relationship?)  The constant swearing and smut talk totally ruined the intended romantic mood of the film.  The only thing to this film’s credit is that, thankfully, there were no gross out gags.  Plus, the two leads did the best with the crud they were forced to work with.

If you are mildly curious about this film, then rent it on DVD.  Otherwise, just pass.


Going The Distance Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

With two talented and likable romantic leads, Drew Barrymore as Erin, and Justin Long as Garrett Going The Distance easily could have gone the distance as a romantic-comedy.  Unfortunately it fell somewhat short at being very romantic or at being much of a comedy.

Garrett and Erin first meet at a bar.  Garrett has been dumped by his girlfriend and his two buddies bring him to the bar to cheer him up.  Erin is frustrated with her job as a newspaper intern so she heads to the bar after work to relax and drink.  Garrett and Erin discover one another at a video game.  They hit it off, head back to Garrett’s apartment for more drinking, sharing a bong and of course a hookup.  Garrett’s roommate and buddy provides the mood music through the paper-thin walls.  What follows are more dates with both Garrett and Erin realizing they really like one another.  Too bad Erin’s job in New York is over at the end of summer and she’s returning to California to study at Stanford.  So they decide to try the long distance thing.

The problem with Going The Distance is that their relationship seems completely shallow.  While there are a few sweet moments between the two it never feels real or loving.  The level of crude dialogue and humour, especially from Garrett’s buddies seems out-of-place considering all the characters are in their early to mid-thirties.  The language and behavior feels like it would be more believable coming from immature teenagers.

With the many verbal gross-out references, crude language, excessive drinking and the unromantic sexual activity I never really enjoyed watching the characters.  At many points in the movie, I felt bored.  By the time the storyline wrapped up with a nice conclusion I no longer cared.

I wanted to enjoy Going The Distance more because of the two likable leads but I just couldn’t.  Drew Barrymore and Justin Long fans may want to wait for a rental on this one and decide for themselves.


Going The Distance Review By Tony

*1/2 (out of 4)

Going the Distance could have been a fairly enjoyable comedy about the long-distance relationship between attractive leads Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (Justin Long). It starts out promisingly enough. Garrett has just been dumped by a woman so he goes out with friends to a bar where he sees Erin rocking his favourite arcade game. Back at his place after discovering other common pop culture interests between puffs on a bong they consummate what is obviously an ideal relationship.  Unfortunately, Erin is only in New York for a summer internship at a New York newspaper and must return to Stanford after six weeks to complete her studies.  They agree to keep in touch by texting, iChat and occasional visits, since Garrett can’t leave his recording company job to be with her. After about a year of predictable setbacks, the film ends on a somewhat hopeful note.

What spoils things is the sophomoric script–not college–junior high school sophomoric.  Brief sweet moments between the leads are swamped by the antics and locker room banter of Garrett’s two moron frat boy buddies and other characters in a number of dumb gags.


Consensus:  The humour in Going The Distance is lowbrow and it has a pretty stale plot when you think about it.  Don’t bother going the distance for this one – it’s worth a rental at best. *3/4 (Out of 4)

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