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Going the Distance

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long deliver a suprisingly enjoyable romantic comedy in Going the Distance

Director: Nanette Burstein

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long

***

Justin Long has come a long way since his days as movie geek stock, the likes of Jeepers Creepers and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story being stepping stones for his current Hollywood position as the loveable romantic lead.

Here, Long is the New York-based record-label lackey Garrett, who falls very quickly for Drew Barrymore's no-nonsense Erin, a thirtysomething journalism student. She is in town for only six weeks, working as an intern on a newspaper, and the pair promise to keep things casual that is, until Erin's departure back to San Francisco prompts them to keep things alive long-distance style.

Hollywood films starring real-life couples tend to be more hit than miss the less said about Gigli, Mr and Mr Smith, and Eyes Wide Shut the better but Going the Distance manages to buck the trend. Barrymore and Long's portrayal of a couple dealing with the trials and tribulations of living apart is easy to believe, making you root for their survival.

More importantly, Geoff LaTulippe's screenplay gives us a glut of highly likeable characters: Garrett's loudmouth flatmate Dan (Charlie Day) and best friend Box (the Saturday Night Live star Jason Sudeikis) steal every scene they're in. The dialogue is refreshing, flows well, and only occasionally feels forced between the long-distance couple. All in all it's a highly enjoyable movie.

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