Wednesday, September 01, 2010


GOING THE DISTANCE (romantic comedy)
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Ron Livingston, Jim Gaffigan, Kelli Garner and Christina Applegate
Director: Nanette Burstein
Writer: Geoff LaTulippe
Time: 96 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

From left: Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Justin Long and Drew Barrymore

PREAMBLE: This is a chick flick that is also aimed at the guys and it comes with many pointers for a relationship. The one lesson for men is that they must understand what their girlfriend is NOT saying. Like, when she says she does not want a gift for her birthday, she definitely WANTS a gift for her birthday!

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Record label promoter Garrett (Justin Long) learns this the hard way and loses his girlfriend on her birthday. Drowning his sorrows at a pub that very night, he meets up with Erin (Drew Barrymore), a Stanford journalism grad who is interning at a New York newspaper. They hit it off nicely - and soon, her internship ends and she has to get back to San Francisco.

Determined not to break up but to commit to each other, Erin and Garrett start a long distance relationship - with phone calls, Skyping, longing for each other and even trying phone sex! Of course, they want to be together but given the job situation in a drab economy, they have to be content with surprise visits and getting surprised by Erin's sister (Christina Applegate) when they make out on her kitchen table.

HITS & MISSES: I mentioned that this is a chick flick aimed at the guys because it has the requisite 'guy material' - or adult and potty jokes. These are mainly provided by Garrett's foul-mouthed buddies (played by Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) who
help to keep the comedy frothy. Of course, the script by Geoff LaTulippe also includes toilet humour and some rather embarrassing sexual overtones like masturbation and 'dry-humping' (or sex without penetration).

However, what I like about Nanette Burstein's helming is that she is not concerned about the genre staples like 'meeting cute' and the 'break-up machination'. Erin and Garrett bond over an arcade game and his love for Top Gun the movie and their long-distance problems are very real, especially to those who have experienced them. And if you are worried about the R-rating (or the 18+ Category), let me reassure that the raunchy gags are verbal, not visual. What's more, Barrymore and Long (who have been real-life lovers) are easy to root for and there is chemistry between them.

THE LOWDOWN: Basically for those who like their comedy spiced with naughty dialogue.


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