Judging a book by its cover isn’t just a phrase, it’s a practice; the same goes for judging a film by its trailer. Nearly everything about GOING THE DISTANCE screamed crappy rom com, the trailer, the poster, the premise and even the leads. So the two main truths I realized after the film are: maybe I don’t hate Justin Long and that Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day should be cast as everyone’s two best friends in every movie from here on out.
Garrett (Justin Long) meets Erin (Drew Barrymore) the same night his girlfriend at the time dumped him. Erin is a newspaper intern only in New York for a brief time before she heads back to Stanford to finish her degree. Garrett works for a record label scouting new talent. The two hit it off and when it comes time for Erin to head back to California the two agree to try and make their relationship work despite the distance. The space starts to take its toll as they both struggle to find permanent jobs in the other’s respective city but still remain determined to try and make the relationship survive.
The biggest revolution throughout the movie was that I sat through almost an hour and forty-five minutes of Justin Long and Drew Barrymore and didn’t get the urge to either fall asleep or hit my head against the wall to induce a coma. That might sound a little harsh, but the combination of Long and Barrymore have starred in several movies that I just didn’t like, and nearly ruin movies I do like that they are in. There are moments that I felt I was getting tired of them and just wanted more scenes of Garrett’s two best friends Box (Jason Sudeikis) and Dan (Charlie Day). Christina Applegate and Jim Gaffigan also give the film a lot of its big laughs so they can’t be left out either.
What separates this from all the other sappy unfunny romantic comedies is the abundance of f-bombs and raunchy sex jokes/situations. GOING THE DISTANCE is kind of like the slutty younger sister to other prudish rom coms. The film doesn’t come to an end without its flaws, mainly in its pacing as it heads towards the finish line and an ending that embodies nearly everything that’s wrong with bad romantic comedies.
GOING THE DISTANCE is a date movie that guys can enjoy without hiding their face in shame. It has plenty of raunchy humor to go around but at times comes dangerously close to imploding on itself and sabotaging all the good it had worked towards. The cast is funny and charming and the chemistry between the leads is believable as is the presentation of the long distance relationship. So if the significant other approaches you with this for your next date night have no fear, there are plenty of guilt free laughs to be had.