Movie Review: Going The Distance

Long-distance relationships don’t work ? everyone knows that.

I had one once, it was a lot of hassle, too much travel and involved not nearly enough nookie. And nobody is worth that? Or are they?

It begs the inevitable question: How far would you travel just to see the woman/ man of your dreams? Down the street? To the ends of the earth? Croydon? Personally, if it is any longer than two tubes and a short bus ride, I am making other plans.

But then I am neither Drew Barrymore, who plays Erin, an aspiring journalist, nor Justin Long, a music promoter called Garrett.

Because if I was (and that has just planted some really odd thoughts into my head), I would be more than happy to travel between New York and San Francisco just to spend some quality time together.

Now, that’s a long way, and to be honest, even taking one tube to see Drew Barrymore on the big screen was a bit of a struggle for me, never mind travelling 3,000 miles to see her.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the promise of a free packet of toffee popcorn, I would have probably stayed indoors.

But then I guess I am not the target audience. I have a heart of flint and the only thing I know about romance comes from studying for my A-Level English Literature exams.

Also, unlike a lot of men I know, I am completely immune to Barrymore’s charms. Her and her owl?s anus of a mouth do nothing for me. (Actually, I say that, there was this one moment in Poison Ivy…).

The point is, like most men dragged to the cinema to watch ?wrong-coms? with their partners, I need something to keep me going. Sandra Bullock usually does the job. But Drew Barrymore and the gawky guy from Dodgeball? Hmmmm.

To be honest, the only way the film could have sounded even less enticing would have been if I had found out that Nicolas Cage was in it, with Danny DeVito as his comedy sidekick friend.

Thankfully, none of these things happened and, despite all my fears, Going the Distance, helmed by Nanette Burstein (On The Ropes), is an entertaining movie. No, really.

Now, when I say that, I have to admit the best scenes are reserved for when the happy couple are actually apart, which, as it?s a film about long-distance relationships, are mercifully quite common.

The reason for that is not because Long and Barrymore lack chemistry, it?s because their friends and family are a lot more interesting.

Firstly, there are Long?s mates, Box (Jason Sudeikis) and Dan (Charlie Day), who mercilessly rib their lovesick friend about his constant texting, as he struggles to keep the relationship going after Stanford student Erin returns home from her summer stint as an intern at the New York Sentinel.

His roommate, Dan, in particular, is a real treat, particularly his attempts at helping Garrett and Erin get together in the first place.

Then there?s Erin?s uptight sister Corinne, played by Christina Applegate, and her long-suffering husband Phil, played superbly by Jim Gaffigan.

They are helped by a script which splutters in parts but provides enough laughs to have you leaving the cinema with a smile on your face.

All in all, it all adds up to a decent rom-com capable of melting even the hardest of hearts.

Maybe I am a romantic after all. Maybe not.

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