Saturday, May 14, 2011

Going the Distance

Directed by Nanette Burstein.
2010. Rated R, 102 minutes.
Drew Barrymore
Justin Long
Christina Applegate
Charlie Day
Jason Sudeikis
Rob Riggle
Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Ron Livingston
Jim Gaffigan

Boy meets girl a few hours after breaking up with some other girl. The boy is Garrett (Long). He works at a record company and is tasked with managing a band he hates. The girl is Erin (Barrymore), an intern at a newspaper with hopes of becoming a full-fledged reporter. However, with that industry steadily going the way of the dinosaur this seems unlikely. They meet in New York. Her internship is only six weeks long, after which she’ll head home to California. She tells Garrett this pretty much up front, warning him not to get too attached. As you might expect, thes crazy kids can’t help but fall in love over that span. The two decide to carry on a long-distance relationship after she moves back to the west coast, hence the title.

It’s pretty much the same old, same old. The ups and downs of their relationship play out as lots of other movie relationships have. It’s complete with surprise trips across the country, spontaneous sex and trust issues. It’s also funny in spots. To me, most of these spots involve Erin’s sister Corinne (Applegate) and her husband Phil (Gaffigan). They get the best lines and Applegate’s high-strung, control freak/germophobe act is great.

Most of the other funny parts come from Dan (Day) and Box (Sudeikis), Garrett’s misfit buddies. They are both an asset and a detriment to the movie. They’re an asset because occasionally they are hilariously funny. They’re a detriment because of what they aren’t, yet try so very hard to be. They’re basically an imitation of the slacker buddies that populate the Judd Apatow clan movies. Think Knocked Up or The 40 Year Old Virgin. Try as they might, these guys don’t quite measure up. This, combined with the occasionally raunchy dialogue of all the characters makes the whole thing feel like a copycat production.

Like many of the movies GtD tries to duplicate, the chemistry of the two leads is questionable. In this case, the problem is they exist as much to put themselves in awkward situations in front of others as they do to fall in love. Their relationship is a string of these occurrences. Others can always hear or see what they’re doing and jokes are made of this. Since neither of them is funny, this is how they provide comedy.

GtD is a fairly typical rom-com of the rated R variety. It has more curse words and blatant sex talk than its PG-13 rated siblings, but the story is the same. There are pockets of good humor, just not enough to save it from itself.

MY SCORE: 5/10

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