Going the Distance

First Hit: Drew Barrymore and Justin Long make this film work in many ways.

Barrymore plays Erin, who is a writing graduate student at Stanford University doing a summer internship at a New York City newspaper called The Sentinel. While there, she happens upon Garrett (played by Justin Long) who is sitting and moping to his friends about the girl who just walked out on him.

His friends, Dan and Box (played by Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis respectively) listen to his bemoaning all the time because he never really commits to a girl and they often end up in a bar having some beer lamenting his misfortune.

He and Erin find they have things in common and end up having a few drinks, then spend the night together. She tells him the next day she only has 6 weeks left in town and therefore doesn’t want to do anything serious. She also explains that she has already once followed a man around the US only to lose sight of her life and she won’t do this again.

As you would expect, they fall in love, have a long distance relationship and spend the rest of the film finding out a way to be together.

What worked about this film was the dialogue. It was crisp, open and very much built on today’s ideas and ideals. I also thought that, as a couple, they were well matched and seemed to fit both physically and emotionally.

The other characters, Dan, Box, and Erin’s sister Corrine (played by Christina Applegate) were extremely useful to the plot, dialogue and movement of the film.

Barrymore was great, open, fully charged and engaging as Erin. She seems to gaining more maturity and strength personally which results in deeper characters. Long was in one of his better roles. He usually is the calm, cool and collected guy, who is clearly in-charge of his feelings, but here there is a movement to expose himself more and with Barrymore there was a connection which he didn’t hide. Day and Sudeikis were perfect amusing foils to Long and gave the film some of its funniest moments while also making sure there was some truth to the whole story. Applegate was a joy to see as the Barrymore’s older sister. She was vulnerable, possessive, controlling and supportive at all the right times. Geoff LaTulippe wrote a strong script while Nanette Burstein did a great job with both the story and the characters.

Overall: This was a well done romantic funny film and even though we all know the ending long before it arrives, it was a fun ride.