Directed by Nanette Burstein
Starring Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Ron Livingston
Written by Geoff LaTulippe
Nanette Burstein has a career varied and dotted with awards. Most of what she’s done have been documentaries thus far. That she was chosen to direct the latest Drew Barrymore vehicle seemed an adventurous choice. The sense of adventure is sprinkled throughout Going the Distance, and it gives the viewer a reason to smile here and there. The movie, in its entirety is in whole a collection of predictable moments that end up less than the sum of its parts.
There is nothing really wrong with this film. If you like the principals or just romantic comedies in general, you will find much of comfort here. There are a few scenes that will shock the older folks. If you have watched anything that the Farrelly Brothers have done, or more recently the Apatow films, this will seem pretty tame. What it is, I suspect, is trying to appeal to the baser instincts of the women who want something a little risqué but familiar enough to the Katherine Heigl / Jennifer Lopez / Rachel McAdams / Jennifer Aniston area to use the same romance muscles they are used to. Kind of like guys with an action star like Bruce Willis. Red is good because it is close to Die Hard. Hudson Hawk is too unfamiliar. If you like Drew Barrymore, this film will be more comforting to you than would Riding in Cars with Boys.
For me, though, this is just about an average Romantic Comedy. Not bad, but not one story line in the film that has not been used before, and nothing that I will see in my mind’s eye in 2 weeks. Oh, there are parts of the film that were unique, like the activity on the dining table. By the time they get to desecrating the cake in the sister’s kitchen, the happy “couple” had long since worn out there welcome on my screen, pending false crisis or not.
There is no grudge, when watching a movie like this. It has a demographic that it is set to appeal to. If my romantic comedy muscles needed flexing, this would make them a little taut. It would never train one to do any real heavy lifting, though.
(** out of *****)