Going the Distance
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate, Other people who are just happy to be in a movie.
Director: Didn’t this thing just direct itself?
Free Admission Granted
One of the great things about useless romantic comedies is how easily they break down into question and answer form. Observe the Drew Barrymore-Justin Long long-distance get-together Going the Distance.
Q: Is it funny?
A: Eh, not bad. The leads dish out their easygoing dirty-mouthed patter with bland precision, and there is a bottom-barrel Zach Galiwhatever guy-talk character. In the end, it doesn’t ask you to remember a single gag or line, so you can use that space in the memory bank for more important mental pursuits.
Q: Do you want the couple to get together?
A: Yes. If the script or the star pairing makes it seem like they’re forcing the couple together, then you have a disaster (or at least Slumdog Millionaire) on your hands. Fortunately, Drew Barrymore is at the top of her rom-com game here. (Don’t read me in that tone of voice.) Actually, one might say she’s above her usual rom-com game, as we actually like her and wish for good things to happen for her.
Q: Does it have anything to do or say? Or does the whole thing hinge on getting the couple together?
A: Nope, nothing to say whatsoever. The whole thing hinges on getting the couple together. If you are looking for any grand insight into relationships, or even minimally original insight into having a long-distance relationship, Going the Distance is not the film for you.
Q: Does it make you feel like an idiot?
A: No. And wow, was that a new experience!
Q: Should you go?
A: Is your girlfriend asking? Then of course, sweetheart.