DIRECTOR: Nanette Burstein
Cast: Drew Barrymore,Justin Long,Christina Applegate,Charlie Day
It takes a lot as we are told repeatedly for a long-distance relationship to work. Lot more than this film requires of either Drew Barrymore or Justin Long,separated by the breadth of the US through their year-long affair. There are mild crises and some low moments alone on the bed,but for the most part,Erin (Barrymore) and Garrett (Long) are smiling into each others eyes and melting into respective arms.
When they break away,because she lives in San Francisco,he in New York,they arent alone either. Erin has her sister,who is mildly obsessive-compulsive,just enough for laughs. Keeping Garrett company are two friends,one keeps an open-door policy while on the pot,and the other an open door when it comes to women. Almost all of what they talk about pertains to sex.
The romance is sweet at first: the ease with which Erin and Garrett fall in step with each other a welcome cutting-through-the-chase. The film also hits many right notes on the problems couples who can meet once in three months may encounter. But in the spaces between,Going the Distance is a stretch. There are the rudimentary scenes of Erin preening for the first meeting after a gap ; a bar conversation; a drinking binge; an almost-cheating episode; and a fight over whos sacrificing more (Erin has a toss-up between a job as a journalist at San Francisco Chronicle,and waiting tables).
While Barrymore perhaps can still make this work on the cuteness factor,Long is out of depth. His hair tells the story never settling into any sort of shape as he is kept on his toes,literally,by the exigencies of love.