REVIEW: ‘Going the Distance’

Director:
Nanette Burstein
Cast:
Drew Barrymore
Justin Long
Charlie Day
Jason Sudeikis
Christina Applegate
Rated: R

The film follows Garret, played by Justin Long, a man who can’t seem to stay in a committed relationship. Meanwhile, Erin, played by Drew Barrymore, is working at a summer internship at a New York City newspaper. After both our lead characters have a bad day they both decide to go out to the bar. After meeting by an arcade game the two hit it off and start a good relationship.

However, their relationship becomes strained as Erin has to return to San Francisco after her time at the internship is over. The two want to continue in their relationship, though, and decide to go long distance dating.Yet while it seemed easy at first, jobs and other events show them that being in love across the country is more difficult than they thought.

The problem with “Going the Distance” was that it seemed to keep bouncing around in terms of its tone. At some points it seemed to lean toward the PG-13 traditional romcom levels and at others it went in the direction of more raunchy comedy with a bunch of R-rated jokes. The humor simply felt incoherent.

Additionally, some of the more R-rated comedy seemed forced. For example, many of the times characters were swearing, it was as if they were swearing just for the sake of it.

Both of the performers in the picture are usually fine, but their characters were really just average. The writing in the movie seemed limited and the picture didn’t really do anything that innovative, despite the idea of long distance dating.

The side characters weren’t much better, being completely generic. There was the female lead’s older disapproving sister who has a husband and kids and the male lead’s wild friends who are more immature than he is.

With all that said, the movie does offer some laughs here and there and the actors were OK. There are even some nice, sweet moments with the couple. For the most part, though, this one was largely forgettable, 2 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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