You have to be in the mood to see a romantic comedy. At least I do. And sometimes I’d rather subject myself to every Police Academy, Friday the 13th, or even Rambo film ever made to avoid seeing a terribly formulaic romantic comedy starring a skinny actress who is unfortunately so stuck with Botox that she is incapable of emoting anything except disdain…or maybe its hunger? Anyway – because of the fondness I have for Drew Barrymore (don’t ask me, I just like her) I hit the theater for Going the Distance.
I have to say the movie is a little confusing. The couple (Drew Barry and Justin Long) meet and almost immediately (with the help of the all important montage) have to embark on a long distance relationship. It takes place in the present, but doesn’t offer up any present day technology when it comes to staying in touch. There is not a text message to be found. And the jobs of the characters are throwbacks as well.
But the storytelling is refreshing. The couple are together (well, at least try to be together) because they really care for each other’s company. And the one real-world complication of the bad economy is a good twist as to why the couple can’t seem to get together. It’s also truly invigorating that this rom-com doesn’t rely on the mostly crappy slap stick that non-creative executives almost always insist on adding to a character driven script. Because of that, the movie is smooth and low-key. You’re not tempted to get up to go to the bathroom in order to avoid the stupid scene with someone either getting hit or “accidentally” having an important piece of clothing ripped from her body.
Bravo, Drew! You’ve come a long way, Gertie.