Going the Distance (2010)

Directed by Nanette Burstein
Written by Geoff LaTulippe

This is an interesting movie. I have never been fond of Drew Barrymore and thought Justin Long was just okay, certainly tolerable, but nothing stupendous. Add onto that the idea of long distance relationships and the trailer made it looke like the comedy version of Up in the Air, aiplanes and what not. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but it looked interesting enough. I was pleasantly surprised to be honest. It is a nice little cute film. Nothing to warrant Oscars or maybe anything past one viewing, but certainly not a waste of my time.

The idea behind it is simple enough: Garrett(Justin Long) meets Erin(Drew Barrymore) and they fall in love. The catch is that Erin has to leave NY in 6 weeks to go back to grad school in San Fran, so they don’t want to fall in love, but of course they do. The rest of the movie is spent trying to figure out how to make it work. Surprisingly the romance was convincing enough that I was okay that that was the direction they went. I wasn’t concerned that they may not be right for each other or love each other, though I’m not sure why. It wasn’t all that compelling and some of the periphery characters weren’t given enough to do, but Garrett and his friends Box and Dan make the entire movie. Dan (Charlie Day) is especially delightful. He is so funny as the roommate who is just different and involved. Box(Jason Sudeikis) is the “normal” friend compared to Dan, though he has his quirks too and the two of them just make it funny.

A friend of mine has always tried to tell me that Justin Long is one of those actors that people think is funny because he is in funny movies, but in reality is not funny. Well I would say this is the movie to disprove that theory. He, despite his companions, is stand alone funny in those moments with just Erin. His delivery seems to be key for the wit and charm of his character. The film comes as somewhat cliched, sure, but it has some heart, some laughter, and a conflict worth pondering, if not just for the 102 minutes that the movie runs.

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