Chemistry is everything when it comes to romantic comedies and stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long have it to spare in Going the Distance, a rare entry that’s surprisingly intelligent in the genre. That writer Geoff LaTulippe isn’t afraid to throw in bits of effective ribald comedy now and again only helps separate the film from others like it, as it’s not only genuinely funny but also sincere in its look at love.
Erin and Garrett’s (Barrymore and Long) timing couldn’t be worse. She’s only spending another six weeks in New York City while he’s fresh from yet another broken relationship. Yet, there’s an undeniable connection between the two. Despite insisting they’re not going to get involved, love blooms between them, a complication exaggerated when Erin moves to San Francisco.
You know Distance is a cut above other rom-coms from the start as the standard “meet-cute” scene is handled with style and intelligence while the long distance quandary the couple faces is treated as more than just an opportunity for comedic moments. Barrymore and Long, partners off-screen as well, both deliver effective performances, showing the emotional turmoil their characters wrestle with as they each try to compromise with what their brains want and their hearts need. That the film produces no easy answers is a tribute to its refreshing honesty.
This isn’t simply a dour romance. Distance delivers the funny as well, thanks to a strong supporting cast. Christina Applegate as Erin’s germaphobe sister is a tightly-wound delight while Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as Garrett’s goofy buds, two poster children for Peter Pan Syndrome, deliver laughs each time they appear. In the end, Distance proves to be the perfect date movie as it not only entertains but also provides plenty of points for conversation for relationships of all sorts.
Contact Chuck Koplinski at email@example.com.