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No Connection: Drew Barrymore & Justin Long in “Going the Distance”

Genres: Comedy
Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.
Release Date: September 3rd, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity.
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Director: Nanette Burstein

JJ Rating: C+

See it again: No.
Own it: No way.
Recommend it to: No one.

Garrett (Justin Long) meets Erin (Drew Barrymore) after he has a nasty break-up. She is playing Centipede arcade game, and he is amazed that she’s got the high score. They start off awkward and continue a little down that road until it blossoms into something that they didn’t expect, making it difficult when she leaves weeks later. Can a long distance relationship work? Going the Distance.

I couldn’t stay home another weekend and not see a movie. I just couldn’t, and yet halfway through Going the Distance, I thought I should have stayed home. The plan was to see Machete afterward, but I didn’t feel up to seeing another boring, bloody, horror-like acting film. Once (The Expendables and that stupid fish movie) was enough. Though I think it’s funny The American was number one at the box office with chump change.

Going the Distance strived to make things very normal. But with the two friends that Garrett has, it’s hard to think of it as something anyone could really relate to, let alone believe. There are moments when they happen upon a conversation that’s actually funny or thought provoking (baby pigeons, talking while on the toilet), but the boring and vulgar conversations win out: the overuse of the F-word for no good reason other than because they can, and the terrible connection that Barrymore and Long have.

The problem was not the acting. They all did a great job, but I couldn’t see a connection between the two. There was barely chemistry, and it only showed up at the very end, when I actually felt sad that they might not make it. That’s really weird, since their connection wasn’t strong from the onset. For some reason, it’s really strong in the last fifteen minutes of the film. It is a great ending.

Christina Applegate is the scene stealer. She stole every single second she was on the screen. She upstaged constantly. Loved her. I looked forward to her popping up on the screen again to be sarcastic, dry and blunt.

I happen to see the 6th largest film of the weekend (not saying much for a crappy box office) and it’s a big I-don’t-care about how well it does or doesn’t do. I don’t think anyone will really remember this film past next weekend. I hate, hate, hate, hate the space between Summer Movie Fun (a stretch this year) and Fall Movie Bonanza or whatever. Eh.


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