Synopsis: A man and woman try to make a long distance relationship work after only dating for six weeks.
Release Date: September 3, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy,
Long distance relationships are difficult. This film does not try to change that well known fact. What it does do is offer a fresh perspective, from a younger point of view, on just how difficult they can be due to many circumstances while providing enough comic relief to make it worth watching. Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (Justin Long) meet over the summer in New York City. She is an intern with a New York newspaper while he works for a music label. Their romance is ill-fated from the beginning as she is due to return to graduate school in California in a mere six weeks. The agreement is that they will enjoy the six weeks they have and that is where their story ends. As is typical (in real life) with these types of summer romances the two do not want their relationship to end and embark on what they think will be an easily acceptable long distance relationship.
Upon this decision the movie could have moved in a variety of directions. It could have made it all look easy, or doable, in the long term. But what is so wonderfully refreshing is that it does not. Instead we see the real ways in which a long distance relationship is seemingly impossible to manage. Neither Erin or Garrett have discretionary income and it is made evident time and time again in the film just how expensive plane tickets are from one coast to another. Flying out every weekend, or month, is impossible. As for the holidays – forget it. Then there are the trust issues. How does one always trust in the other when you cannot always reach them due to time differences and you do not know their friends because you live on the other side of the country? It results in a variety of misunderstandings and things to overcome as the film unfolds. Considering the time difference there is the inevitable issue with making, and finding, the time to speak with one another. When Erin gets off work it is 4am in New York. On Garrett’s lunch hour she is in school or sleeping. It makes for plenty of late night phone calls, missed calls, and the occasional video chat. Not much of a relationship. With all of that the question is constantly being raised by those close to both of them of just how much they really know about each other when they never spend the day to day together. Everything can be easy and practically perfect when you only see each other for a couple days every few months.
When Erin and Garrett are together there is a free-spiritedness to their relationship. They genuinely like each other and the confrontations that could occur do, but not so much as to overwhelm the film with drama. This is a comedy and it remains so throughout. It is also a film about two young people trying to find a way to be a part of each other’s lives while living thousands of miles apart without a simple solution. It would appear an easy fix to have one of them move to be with the other but in true life form jobs are scarce in the newspaper and music business, respectively. As much as Erin and Garrett may care for one another they are responsible in their actions to not just pick up and go without a job. The dramatic love story may be lost there in the film, if you desire to see a grand gesture occur from one or the other, but it is what makes Going The Distance bearable to watch. The sappy romanticism of love is not present, just the honest tellings of what it means to make the hard choices and decisions in life. Some may watch the film and think it projects a selfish attitude at times but if you look closer you will find it is not showing the selfish tendencies of the characters but their independent natures. Erin and Garrett do not have an easy time of making things work but it is nice to watch them try.
For the ladies: Erin is a modern woman. Not in that she has a job and goes to school or is sexually liberated; although she does possess all of these qualities. She is modern in how she speaks. You could refer to it as “talking like a sailor” or very “unladylike” but let’s be real for a moment. Women do swear. We do talk bluntly about sex. We are not ashamed to say what we think or feel, even if it will be considered brazen. Quite often we have to much to drink and make a complete ass out of ourselves in a bar. After a one-night stand we do try and creep out slowly only to get caught and have to smile coyly and talk our way out of the debacle. These are just a few of the ways in which Erin is an all too believable character for today’s 30s woman. She is not going to bake you a cake, but she may throw you down on the dining room table because the bedroom is simply too far away. If you ask her opinion, or give yours, expect an honest answer and perhaps some sarcasm, no matter how much you may not like it. But even with all of these “shocking” actions she actually always remains a lady. Erin is not cheap, nor does she look unkempt or masculine, or ever appears jaded. Which is exactly why it works. Do not be surprised if you walk out of the theatre and wish to thank the screenwriter Geoff LaTulippe for creating Erin, in all her brazen unladylike glory.
This movie is funny, if you can relate to the situations at hand. A favorite is the asking of “bar or apartment” every time Erin and Garret have to say goodbye. (hint: bar means things did not go well, apartment means they did). What occurs most throughout the film is the laughing at the uncomfortableness behind much of what is said by characters, especially Dan (Charlie Day). You can relate to the awkwardness of someone close to you making a comment about sex, love, or anything considered bad form for discussion at the table. What do you do? Smile, nod, say something in response? Perhaps. Or you muster a laugh of agreement because you have no idea what else to do. Seeing this occur on screen you laugh, but not necessary because the line is actually funny. There are funny lines though, and scenes, that stand on their own. It also makes clear that not everything is always going to be funny or make another character laugh. That in itself, is pretty funny.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Nanette BursteinAdam Shankman
- Producer(s): Geoff LaTulippe
- Screenwriter(s): Drew Barrymore (Erin)Justin Long (Garrett)Charlie Day (Dan)
- Story: Jason Sudeikis (Box)
- Cast: Christina Applegate (Corinne)Ron Livingston (Will)Jim Gaffigan (Phil) Peter TeschnerEric SteelbergKevin Kavanaugh
- Cinematographer: Mychael Danna
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA