GOING THE DISTANCE. Starring Drew Barrymore, Justin Long and Christina Applegate. Directed by Nanette Burstein. 102 minutes. Rated MA 15+ (Strong sexual references).
If you go the distance, you may appreciate this 2010 romantic comedy. On the other hand, you may not.
It’s a story of two people in love who are separated (one in New York, the other in Los Angeles) who miss each other, try to keep connected but who fall foul of what happens to so many couples, job opportunities which favour one and disadvantage the other.
So far, so ordinary enough.
The couple is played by Drew Barrymore and Justin Long (who have been together in real life so the relationship is not as realistically far-fetched as might at first appear – as well as testing credibility during the film). One trouble is that Drew Barrymore is such a strong personality, even when acting as hesitant and indecisive, and Justin Long is rather laid-back. When she says she can’t make a decision by herself, we are inclined not to believe her.
The other trouble is the screenplay which has taken a very lazy way out of trying to write characters who have some distinctive personalities by inserting crass language and expressions wearyingly often. It’s not the bodily function jokes (of which there are many), but the constant incidental swearing for no good or realistic reason. Yes, people do talk like this, but that does not make it any less wearying either. The language tends to sabotage the action and the comedy.
Maybe Drew Barrymore’s next romantic comedy will be better.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.
Released: August 26, 2010.