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Blu-Ray Review: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long in Effective ‘Going the Distance’

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CHICAGO – It’s far from a perfect comedy but considering the amazingly-broken state of the romantic comedy genre, the wasteland of horrendous films that have continued to give talentless stars like Katherine Heigl a career, “Going the Distance,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a surprisingly-effective flick. A somewhat-bizarre blend of “dude humor” with typical genre cliches may turn some viewers off but this flick is two things most romantic comedies aren’t — romantic and funny.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Real-life couple Justin Long and Drew Barrymore star in “Going the Distance” as a newly-dating couple who decide to try and make the long-distance thing work despite having a relatively young relationship. Issues like phone sex, jealousy, and travel expenses are expected but the script tries to keep things fresh by giving both Long and Barrymore interesting co-stars to support them including Jason Sudeikis (“Saturday Night Live”), Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”), and Jim Gaffigan (“My Boys”).

Going the Distance was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Going the Distance was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Home Video

Almost defiantly R-rated, “Going the Distance” seems inspired by the comedies that made the Farrelly Brothers millionaires in that gross-out humor is not out of the question — you have never seen a grown man sitting on the toilet in mid-conversation longer in any other romantic comedy. The attempt to hit what is typically a male sense of humor may seem out of place but it keeps the film somewhat fresh as so many romantic comedies so blatantly try to exploit the definition of “chick flick” by tugging on the heartstrings. Even the bits that shouldn’t work somehow do like Long in a tanning booth accidentally getting tanner in his eyes and mouth. Then again, a bit about clean-up after 30 seconds of sex on a dinner table goes on WAY too long.

Going the Distance was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Going the Distance was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 30th, 2010.
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Home Video

Most importantly, Long and Barrymore have what is so often damagingly missing from films like “Going the Distance” — chemistry. Long, often a boring actor, completely works here, and Barrymore, who is only getting more interesting as an actress as she gets older, is believable. The inevitable temptations for both of the leads feel forced but when Long and Barrymore are allowed to flirt and have fun together, they are surprisingly fun to watch.

“Going the Distance” is not going be anyone’s favorite romantic comedy but with junk like “Leap Year,” “Valentine’s Day,” “The Back-Up Plan,” and “Life As We Know It” littering the marketplace, it’s certainly proof that there’s still life in this nearly-flatlining genre.

Official Synopsis:
“Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (Justin Long) strike sparks for a summer fling in New York City but neither expects it to last once Erin heads home to San Francisco and Garrett remains behind for his Big Apple job. But after six romantic weeks, neither is sure they want it to end. So despite opposing coasts, naysaying friends and family and unexpected temptations, the couple just might have found something like love. And helped by a lot of texting, sexting and late-night phone calls, they might actually go the distance.”

Special Features:
o DVD Version
o Digital Copy
o How To Have A Perfect Date - The Stars Offer The Male And Female Points Of View
o A Guide To Long-Distance Dating - Expect Advice On The Dos And Don’ts From The Movie’s Cast And Crew
o The Cast Of Going The Distance: Off The Cuff - See The Hilarious Moments That Resulted When The Cast’s Improvisations Went To Far
o Commentary By Director Nanette Burstein - The Award-Winning On The Ropes Filmmaker On Learning The Ropes Of Her First Romantic Comedy
o The Boxer Rebellion “If You Run” Music Video
o Behind The Scenes Of The Going The Distance Soundtrack
o Additional Scenes

“Going the Distance” stars Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Christina Applegate, and Jim Gaffigan. It was written by Geoff LaTulippe and directed by Nanette Burstein. It is rated R and runs 103 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Anonymous's picture

I agree with the state of

I agree with the state of the rom com genre and although she may not have been in great movies, Heigl is a very long way from talentless. She is a considerably better actress than her material and for my money a lot better than Barrymore and many of her peers. Her Emmy win and Golden Globe noms for Grey’s Anatomy are more evidence she has the chops. Just hope she picks better roles in the future than she has done of late.

BrianTT's picture

Agreed (Mostly)

Talentless may have been a little harsh. I too enjoyed her work on Grey’s Anatomy and in Knocked Up but after 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Killers, and Life As We Know It, she was definitely the first person that popped to mind when considering the sad state of the genre. Maybe “taste-less” as in she needs to exercise better taste when picking roles. —Brian

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