"He's thousands of miles away from here. You don't know what he's doing right now. He could be in some bar, doing shots with some sexy bartender dry humping her."You ever notice how every romantic movie now is always hailed as "the most refreshing, romantic movie since [insert any better, vintage comedy here]," or "a clever romantic comedy that will sweep audiences off their feet?" Then you watch the movie and just assume you didn't see the version those moviewatchers did? This year's Going the Distance, starring offscreen lovebirds Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, is no different.
Barrymore plays Erin, an aspiring newspaper journalist based in San Francisco, meets and falls for Garrett, a New Yorker. The two hit things off but their blossoming relationship is strained by the miles between them. Coming up with fun ways to put their distance on a back burner, the couple experiment with phone sex and periodic visits. But they soon learn all the novelty of it wears off and all that's left is bloated phone bills, jealousy and loneliness. After all is said and done, audiences know how this winds up (hint: it's neither refreshing or clever).
Barrymore has made a career out of playing the bubbly, geeky, but cute-as-a-button characters, even when she has shown considerable depth in some of more dramatic roles (namely and most recently Grey Gardens). She fails to be as impressive here. Long has been more cutesy in other roles (even in the underwhelming He's Just Not That Into You). Christina Applegate, who plays a menial supporting role here as Barrymore's tough-as-nails sister, does manage to charm audiences. It's a shame she doesn't headline more films. Unfortunately, Going the Distance doesn't take audiences far enough.