Allow me to start with a confession: I am a sucker for romantic comedies. Okay, it’s out there.
I am a guy who enjoys - nay, loves! - chick flicks as much as any woman out there. I mention this because my love of them makes me a veteran of the genre and well-versed in the atypical plots that are used most often.
Going the Distance is a romantic comedy starring the ever-talented Drew Barrymore and the up and coming Justin Long (most people will remember him from the Mac commercials). Long stars as Garrett who works for a small record label in New York and Barrymore stars as Erin, a up and coming 30-something reporter/writer who has just gotten her life back on track after being derailed by a guy for several years. The two meet while Erin is an intern at a news paper in New York and even though they say it will be casual at the end of the six weeks they have hopelessly fallen for each other.
Going into the movie, I felt the plot seemed pretty typical, right?
Going the Distance was a pleasant and enjoyable surprise, as it did not fall into the typical trappings of most romantic comedies. Every time I thought we were headed towards a familiar story plot, it would end up a direction I didn’t expect. This was especially true for the dialogue. I actually had to look up the writer, Geoff LaTulippe, as I did not recognize his name and found this was his first movie.LaTulippe has some unique insight into what makes a relationship strong enough to last over time as well as distance. In the 21st century, with cell-phones, web-cameras, VOIP, and other communication methods, LaTulippe shows us that distance is only a symptom of missing someone.
Regardless of how often you talk, text, IM, or video conference, it is not being able to reach out and touch the person who you consider to be your closest friend and love of your life that truly tears us up, be it 30 miles or 3000.
I will say that LaTulippe’s abundant use of the F-bomb in the movie is what a big part of what gives it the R rating. I understand that he wanted the dialog to feel real and I am not against the F-bomb. But, when I start thinking to myself “wow, they love the F-bomb” and the first thing my wife said upon leaving the movie was “They said F@#$ a lot didn’t they?” you might have over used it a bit.
However, I have to give LaTulippe full credit on having some of the most unique characters I have seen in a while. Garrett’s two close friends are his roommate Dan and the mustache-wearing Box.
While Dan takes the term “open door policy” to an entirely new place, Box’s use of his mustache as a “time machine” to seduce ladies 45 to 60 is nothing short of hysterical. Additionally, you have Erin’s sister Corrine and her husband Phil, who after years of marriage now enjoy the “dry hump” more than the real thing.
There was one thing that bothered me when all was said and done and the credits rolled: we did not get to see the couple finally together in the same city. Sure, Garrett was now only 380 miles away instead of 3000, but, honestly, the point of a romantic comedy is for romance to win and the couple lives happily ever after. I am just old fashion when it comes to romance; I truly enjoy the walking into the sunset or holding hands while leaving the Empire State Building. Having Garrett in LA and Erin still in San Francisco made me feel a little cheated.
Overall though, Going the Distance is a wonderful date movie and you will find yourself laughing out loud at things totally unexpected. As the movie is rated R for language and some sexual discussion, I do not recommend bringing the kids. But for others, it is well worth the price of admission.