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A Long Distance To Trudge
Going The Distance (DVD)
Member Name: cazkins
Going The Distance (DVD)
Advantages: Light-hearted & not too heavy, watchable characters, fairly 'heart-warming'
Disadvantages: Quite cliche, nothing new, predictable
Firstly, this isn't my usual kind of film, in fact, it's more the kind of flick I tend to avoid. You know the types, the sickly sweet rom coms that make you cringe and wonder why you spent however long sat watching such nonsense. However, I came across this just after having had a chat with my long distance boyfriend when I joked I should become more in tune with my inner chick flick fiend, so I gave this a go as the premise has similarities to my own position at the time. I'll give it some credit; at points it was quite sweet, quite comical and quite easy going to watch. However, it was still too cliché and predictable to be anything new or extraordinary within this genre.
Going The Distance was directed by Nanette Burstein who has worked on a few things, mainly TV, but nothing I recognise prior to this flick. We're introduced to two characters going merrily along their own paths; Garrett, who has recently come out of a relationship, and Erin, an intern at the New York Sentinel with 6 weeks left until returning to San Francisco. The two bump in to each other and their paths cross in a way neither of them had expected. From the start they seem to get along 'like a house on fire', just hanging out and having fun. They both admit they don't want anything more than fun and frolics, given that Erin isn't around the city for much longer and that Garrett has only recently had his heart broken. But as time flies by and they have more fun together than they remember having in a long time, it seems that there may be more there than they thought.
Realising that what they have together may be something special, they decide it may be too good just to throw away when Erin moves back home. Their only option? To attempt a relationship from afar. From here on out, it's a tale of the highs and lows of a long-distance relationship. They're almost literally on two different coasts at opposite ends of the states, so it's a few hours by plane that they're trying to cover a distance of, which is no easy task as they quickly learn. At first it's all new so they try to work out ways of communicating despite their own commitments and the time difference. Calling, texting, video calling, online communication, most of which occur late at night after work and often not at a good time for one of them. It's a strain but they make the effort and the time for each other.
Things start well, despite the doubts of friends, and the sexting and random visits make it all worthwhile. They get on so well and seem to have found love with each other, so they can start thinking about the bigger picture; being together at the end of Erin's studies providing she can get work at the paper in New York. Except nothing is plain sailing with a long distance relationship and the cracks start to appear. For a start it costs a fortune to travel to see one another, so visits get fewer and further between and they miss spending the big events, like Christmas, with each other. The distance between them grows and suddenly the dream of being together at the end of it all seems to be getting further away. The question is, can they make it work and go the distance for their relationship?
It all sounds rather cheesy and it is, but perhaps not so in-your-face-melted-cheese-everywhere as it could have been. The pace was kept fairly upbeat throughout so it was quite engaging to watch, with some colourful characters that made it more interesting. I liked the spontaneity between Erin and Garrett and the way they got along, being both best mates and lovers so that there wasn't just mush all the way through. It also seemed more realistic that way, and believable when they went through the difficulties faced trying to make it work long distance.
The cast included Drew Barrymore (Erin), Justin Long (Garrett), Christina Applegate (Corinne), Charlie Day (Garrett's mate Dan) and Jason Sudeikis (Garrett's other mate, Box) amongst others. I'm in the middle on both Barrymore and Long, quite liking watching them but not overly fussed either way. In Going The Distance, both play their respective roles well and make the characters believable and quite easily able to identify and empathise with. I know I felt for them, probably in part because I've done/am doing the long distance thing too. I like that Day and Sudeikis has roles in this, even if they weren't huge, because they helped to lighten things up and not be quite so romance/relationship based constantly.
Erin was, however, very much one of the girl-guys. I've been told I'm a girl-guy, and in my relationship we get on like best mates and I hang out as 'one of the guys' because that's the way I've always been, more of a boys girl than a girlie girl. However, when done in films, it's often a little too in your face and idealised. Going The Distance falls in to this trap a bit, making Erin a tad annoying, but again, I think it could have been worse and far more stereotyped than it perhaps was. Having said that, the premise itself was still very predictable and run of the mill. The ending was as I had expected and overall I didn't feel the film added anything new to the rom-com-drama genre mix.
All in all, this was easy enough to watch because it was lighthearted enough in parts to make it enjoyable for fans of such genres. For me, however, I found it quite tough going getting through the predictability and mush. Not one I'd necessarily recommend, but as I've said, if you like these types of films then you could do worse.
DVD released 2011, running time 103 minutes, rated Certificate 15
Selling on Amazon for £3
Summary: A rather ordinary rom-com-drama that struggled to keep me interested