As big of a movie fan as I admit to being, generally speaking, I would much prefer to have my eyes gouged out with a hot poker than sit through a Romantic Comedy. Because contrary to popular belief, the lowest form of humor is not the pun, it is the romantic comedy: which is almost without exception neither romantic nor funny. So, when I made the decision to attend a screening last evening of the new Drew Barrymore flick, Going The Distance, I was hedging bets that I’d find it irredeemably heinous: especially based on the commercials which make this film seem like viewing it would be only slightly more fun than root canal therapy. But, surprise! I was wrong: Going the Distance is awesome!
As the title suggests by its not-that-clever play on words, Going the Distance is about two people living on opposite coasts trying to make a long distance relationship work. Erin (Barrymore) is a San Francisco-based writer doing a summer internship at a NYC newspaper when she meets the recently-dumped record label A&R guy, Garrett (played Justin Long) in a bar. After one of the more fun one night stands you could possibly hope to have, Erin and Garrett agree to spend the remainder of her internship – six weeks – hanging out and hooking up until she has to return to her home in California. Of course, as she’s about to board her plane back to the west coast, they decide they like each other too much to call it quits and commit to a period of flying back and forth to visit each other and “see where this thing goes,” as they say.
Besides being unbelievably funny, Going the Distance is also kind of hot and sexy. When they are not cracking jokes or saying very clever things to each other and those around them, Erin and Garrett are either making out or boning each other almost constantly. Few will deny that Barrymore and Long (whom I’ve had a crush on since he started appearing in Apple’s Mac Versus PC commercials) are an attractive couple with great on-screen chemistry (I believe they are also a couple in real life, and if they aren’t they should be) so if you enjoy watching horny young people maul each other, you will be able to buy into the veracity of this well-worn plot. I’d also bet that if you see this movie with a date, I don’t know how you could possibly not get laid afterwards.
Excellent supporting roles are all over this thing, including Christina Applegate’s outstanding turn as Erin’s sister Corinne (watch for the line “Maya! Statue!” to become a buzz phrase any second now), comedian Jim Gaffigan (King Baby) as Corinne’s husband Phil, and Jason Sudeikis (SNL) and Charlie Day as Garrett’s hilarious best friends, Box and Dan. As much as I think that romantic comedies are retarded bullshit that have about as much grounding in reality as Lord Of The Rings, this film kept me engaged and laughing hard enough to suspend my disbelief and enjoy myself for 96 minutes. That’s all you can ask of any movie, really.
The Worley Gig Gives Going the Distance Four out of Five Stars.