Bringing a real-life romance to the big screen is not an easy feat (see “Gigli.”) However, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long achieve this effortlessly in their new film “Going the Distance.”
Garrett (Long), who is pursuing a career in the music industry, and Erin (Barrymore), an aspiring journalist, have not been lucky in the love department. The plot is conventional: they meet at a bar in New York City and between playing a video game, laughing, and talking, they realize they are crazy about each other. The problem is that Erin is only in New York City for six more weeks, before she returns to graduate school in San Francisco.
When Erin has to leave for California, they decide to maintain a long-distance relationship. Within the first weeks of their relationship, however, the couple recognizes that long-distance is not as easy as it seems.
As the movie progresses, between missed phone calls, exorbitant airline prices, and the temptations that arise when your other half is not with you, the couple’s love is tested. However, the film’s more sentimental scenes prove the resiliency of their love, which often is both romantic and comedic.
The supporting cast can be credited with bringing the movie to better comedic heights with their funny, axiomatic anecdotes about love, relationships, and life. Garrett’s friends, Box (Jason Sudeikis) and Dan (Charlie Day), joke about Garrett’s dieting before his visit to Erin and his full time relationship with his cell phone.
On the opposite side of the country, Erin’s sister, Corrine (Christina Applegate), advises her sister to be careful and to not let her feelings distract her from reaching her goals. The relationship Corrine has with her husband and daughter allows her comedic side to show amid her high-strung attitude and overprotective tendencies.
The genius of the movie is that it is a realistic, twenty-first century comedy about the struggles couples face when they are in a long-distance relationship. It highlights the fact that even though it is difficult to find true love, it is even more difficult when the couple is in two different places. However, as the movie shows, it is possible to actually go the distance.
Catherine Chidiac can be reached at email@example.com.