Going the Distance (2010)
Relationships are never easy and when one has obstacles thrown your way beyond your control it makes things even more difficult. In Nanette Burstein’s 2010 romantic comedy we have the complexity of a love affair when it becomes a long distance relationship, throwing in numerous examples of the many barriers that couple’s face when they are in such a predicament, including one another sadly.
The film focuses on Garret (Justin Long), a perennial failure when it comes to relationships, and as we open the story he has just seen his latest union fall apart. The problem is that Garret struggles as soon as a relationship turns serious and it seems he will be destined to never break the cycle, despite his friends’ observations. However, by chance he meets Erin (Drew Barrymore) on a night out and an attraction is soon formed. Erin is an intern at a New York newspaper and will be leaving for her home in San Francisco in six weeks. Garret and Erin decide to have six weeks of fun, nothing serious, but when it comes to their final parting at the airport, neither is suddenly very keen on the idea. What follows is a series of painstaking efforts to keep their relationship alive from opposite sides of the US but will they succeed?
Going the Distance offers a familiar premise in exploring the challenge of maintaining a relationship. You sympathise with Garret and Erin especially when their individual careers and desires mean only compromise can see their relationship survive. Never easy. The two leads have decent chemistry here with Barrymore, in particular, reliably charming as she tends to be, though you’ll be hard pressed to find a better turn from her than in The Wedding Singer. Although Long and Barrymore work well together, I did find the film descended into quite predictable fare as it progressed and some moments did seem to stretch credulity at times as well, which was a shame. If you are addicted to romantic comedies then this one will tick many of the boxes for you, but if you are selective about what you indulge in, there are better films to be found in this genre.
Verdict: Strong lead performances from Long and Barrymore enhance what is a pretty standard romantic comedy.