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Preview review: Is 'Going the Distance' the next '500 Days of Summer'?

May 21, 2010 |  1:30 pm

2010_going_the_distance_001 We'll be honest: Nowadays, we feel as if it's nearly impossible to find a romantic comedy we can get behind.

We're still reeling from the saccharine, false-romantic story lines that have hit the box office this year: "Valentine's Day," "The Back-Up Plan" and "When in Rome," just to name a few.

Where is that rare film -- like "500 Days of Summer" -- that not only makes us laugh but seems to reflect an actual living, breathing relationship?

From what we can tell from its trailer, August's "Going the Distance," starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, might just be that movie.

The film tells the story of Erin (Barrymore) and Garrett (Long), who fall for each other during a whirlwind summer romance in New York City. Their connection is so strong that they decide to try the long-distance thing after only a couple of months, when Erin has to head back to her home in San Francisco. But they both have their friends and relatives whispering in their ears -- Garrett's friend Box (Jason Sudeikis) is tired of his incessant text-messaging, and Erin's sister Corrine (Christina Applegate) worries about the fledgling relationship. 

We'll admit we already had relatively high expectations for the movie. Its script was placed on Hollywood's notorious Black List, which names the most popular unproduced screenplays annually. And its director is Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Nanette Burstein, best known for her work on "On the Ropes" and "American Teen."

Maybe it's because Barrymore and Long are a couple in real life that their on-screen chemistry strikes us as authentic. They've been through ups and downs in their own relationship that seem to mirror the issues of the couple on screen. But we just like the feel of the trailer. The vignettes of the two kissing and running into each other's arms at the airport should feel cheesy, but they don't. And after her turns in flops such as "Everybody's Fine" and "Whip It," it's nice to see Barrymore back in a role where she seems like herself.

<br/><a href="http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/exclusive-going-the-distance-trailer/5uxjvgd?fg=sharenoembed" target="_new"title="Exclusive: 'Going the Distance' Trailer">Video: Exclusive: 'Going the Distance' Trailer</a>

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star in "Going the Distance." Credit: Warner Bros.


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Comments () | Archives (3)

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Wrong cast for this type of movie.

I saw a preview screening this week. The movie’s theme is very real and relate-able. The chemistry between the two is good. Their initial “sleep over” involving Top Gun soundtrack is laugh out loud funny. The standard falling in love montage works. Things like trust issues, phone sex, and surprise visits are all covered with good humor and realism. Side issues like both characters working in industries that are in states of major change and severe cutbacks add to the dilemma. Christina Applegate and my personal favorite comedian, Jim Gaffigan are fun as Erin’s dry humping sister and brother-in-law. And Garrett’s two side kicks, mustachioed, Box (Jason Sudeikis) and bathroom open door policy Dan (Day) keep him busy during Erin’s absence. Still, somehow, I feel the movie is a little flat.

To read or hear a Q & A with director Nanette Burstein check out Philadelphia Film's Society's blog.

I just saw this last night at a premier screening and I thought it was actually very funny. Maybe I'm easily amused, but I found the characters to be realistic and could relate them to people that I know in real life. To me, that works more for me than a movie with an amazing cast but a crap storyline (aka Date Night) and I laughed out loud during almost all of the movie. They didn't focus too much on the serious parts but it all seemed very real to me personality wise and I thought it was very good. Would definitely reccomend it to any of my friends.


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