Friday, September 3, 2010
I've got a tip for you...
Going the Distance
Dir: Nannette Burstein
"I've got a tip for you..."
"Oh yeah, is it the tip of your penis?"
Or words to that effect. Needless to say the two older women who came in just before the film started and sat in the row behind us, didn't make it to the end of this film. In what is being called a Judd Apatowesque romantic comedy, Going the Distance tells the story of Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (Justin Long) who meet one night in a bar, 6 weeks before Erin finishes her summer internship at a New York newspaper and returns to San Francisco. Despite both agreeing to keep things casual when the departure date arrives they agree to keep seeing each other. What unfolds is a chronicle of the highs and lows of long distance relationships as Erin and Garrett discover if they can... um... go the distance.
Along for this fun, sassy romcom ride are a host of great supporting cast members. While Justin Long's performance really cemented this film for me, I also thought Christina Applegate was brilliant as Erin's bordering on obsessive compulsive older sister Corinne. Drew Barrymore can really light up any film she's in, but despite my respect for her as an actress her performance in this film was average. Lucky for her she's so delightful, an average performance is still entertaining, and I still believe she can act drunk better than most actresses out there today!
Garrett's two best friends, one who he lives with, are quite stereotypical for a film of this genre. In real life you'd have to question why someone as down to earth and sensitive as Garrett would hang out with two, how should I say this, losers. It doesn't make sense and because of this it's obvious best friend #1 and best friend #2 are inserted for "comedic value". Sure at times they spin off a few funny one liners but ultimately they're token characters.
The humour in this film is crude, and is not what I was led to believe from the trailer, but thanks to the aforementioned Apatow our palates have become accustomed to such vulgar dialogue. That the vulgar dialogue comes from the mouth of Drew Barrymore adds to the laughs and shocks to be had from this film. I was forewarned about dry humping before seeing this film and the closing scene does not disappoint.
Sure this isn't a fantastic film; the crude humour unhinges the drama and perhaps affects the overall consistency of tone in the film, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. Yes there are the token montage scenes, including plenty of frolicking, there are scenes that are all too painfully aware of themselves and trying to be funny; the ever present roommate playing music through the walls to DJ his friend's hook-up; it does border on lame several times. But there is undeniable chemistry between the two leads, which their real life relationship has no doubt helped with; and when this film is funny it's really funny. What really impressed me about this film was the character of Erin; finally a strong female lead, after having to endure the seemingly endless parade of Katherine Heigl vehicles for weak characters.
Going the Distance doesn't reinvent modern romcoms but it's a fun, breezy film and one that won't leave a bad taste in your mouth. It won't appeal to everyone but hey, no movie does.
3.5 / 5