Going the Distance::Sweet, Real and Kinda Dirty.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how crude some of the conversations were in Going the Distance.  I sat in a theater on a Wednesday afternoon with one other person in that gigantic room with me and she and I were laughing our butts off at some of the dialogue.  It had a sense of reality in those conversations that is often lacking in other movies and I think that is why it was so funny.  I think that men who get dragged to this movie will still have something to enjoy.

Justin Long is too adorable for words and at one point Drew Barrymore actually looked like her five-year-old self in E.T.  Drew did none of her cutesy acting – she even told a guy in a bar to suck her dick!  There was a scene where Drew is asking Justin different questions about his life and it felt improved because his answers were so witty and her laugh was so genuine.  Both characters had an obsession with the video game Centipede, my favorite video game of all time, so the movie won me over pretty early on.  I liked that she was really into the video game because  to me  THAT is realism.  I hate romantic comedies when the woman is so girly and uptight that she has no grit or resemblence to any women I know. 

I don’t know if Drew and Justin are still dating or not (she refuses to talk about it and I think that is a good idea) but if they are, I’d like to congratulate them on maintaining chemistry on screen too.  So many real life couples try to work together and the movie is a dud because of the lack of sexual tension on screen.  They had plenty of chemistry and these two are characters that you are genuinely rooting for by the end of the movie.  The script (First timer Geoff LaTulippe) and direction (Nanette Burstein, On The Ropes) were both right on the money, it was well paced and witty.  My only complaint was the phone sex scene.  Their forced difficulty reminded me of one of those infomercials trying to get you to by the special pasta strainer pot with lid because pooring the water out of the pot is just so hard.  They could have floated the idea that phone sex still isn’t real sex, but it’s honeslty not that complicated. 

They didn’t skirt the issues of the long distance thing, as it’s often called.  There is always an added pressure to the relationship of which one of us is going to give up our life that we build in our city to come and resent you in yours?  It’s practically a no win situation.  The bottom line is that if you move to your mate to make the relationship work, it will most certainly die.   Unless you have no life where you are and that was not true of either character.  The rumor on IMdb is that Geoff LaTulippe is a friend of the producer David Neustadter and based his script on a long distance relationship David had with a girlfriend.  If that is true, it explains why it seemed so realistic, except for the fake tan scene.  Nothing about that seemed realistic to me.  Few people in San Francisco have a tan or care about a tan and Justin Long is not that pale.

All of the supporting roles were just perfect; Christina Appelgate as Drew’s uptight sister was very believable, Jim Gaffigan as Christina Appelgate’s husband was good, although I love me some Gaffigan and would have liked to see him more.  I also love Jason Sudeikis and he and his mustache did not disappoint.  Several comedians and comedic actors made cameos: Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords), Mike Birbiglia (if you don’t know his standup, YouTube him, you won’t be disappointed), Rob Riggle (The Daily Show), and Ron Livingston (Office Space).  I think you have to like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or at least have seen it, to enjoy Charlie Day – he is very crude and an acquired taste.  Oh yeah and he’s really funny,  I think it’s his scratchy voice that does it.

The music was good, although it really had to be because Justin Long’s character worked at a record label.  They featured a real band called The Boxer Rebellion who I really liked.  I recommend checking them out.  Their album “Union” was recently voted Best Alternative Album of 2009 by the editors of iTunes and  awarded Best Men In Black by SPIN (according to Wikipeida).

Another movie that will not change your life, but is a very enjoyable 2 hours.


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