Going the Distance: The Review

I remember when Drew Barrymore made romantic comedies and they mattered.

I still own a copy of The Wedding Singer. Before the flick exploded, Drew Barrymore was a child star coming from a family of actors who became a drug addict. After a share of skin flicks, she checked herself out to get clean... and she successfully a life on the fast lane for superstardom.

There are a lot Drew flicks that had acclaim and had beauty.

Sadly, Going the Distance has neither.

It is a story of a pair who had to go to the ordeal known to many as long distance relationship.

It had its funny moments. The tanning salon was funny and the handprint-on-butt sex scene was a riot. The music from the other room was good and so was the talk about jacking off. Christina Applegate stood out in this movie and you need to blame the screenplay for this.

That said, you need to blame the screenplay for making ONLY Christina Applegate stand out!

I hate cursing on films. Sure, I get that real-life conversations involve cursing... but a film could live without this. Did they even think the repercussions this would pull when the film appears on censored cable? The conversations are much targeted to a particular audience that they tend to push people away. It was like I was watching a Kevin Smith movie that unfortunately lacked a tight storyline. Pop culture references should be kept to a minimum even if it is made up. The indie band they hyped was forgettable. Except for Charlie Day's "music beds" (the Dirty Dancing reference was good), the film's music didn't really ad flavor to the movie.

In some scenes, their comedy forgets to be funny for its viewers. I cannot believe how they botched the phone sex scene! It should have been funny but even a semi-packed movie house couldn’t get it! It reminds me of what my advertising professor would stress and it is K.I.S.S. or Keep it simple stupid! They tried too much to no avail! The humor is too intelligent for international audiences. Hell, I don’t even know if other demographics will understand this.

The film is a train wreck in terms of targeting a target market. It is a romantic comedy and females like this genre. It is raunchy so men will like this. But it is intelligent also, so indie hunters would care the swig at it.

They can’t choose all!

The story was very obvious and you can actually rightfully guess the outcome of each scene. Drew Barrymore hasn’t gone bold since she made that girl cowboy film and I’m almost certain that this film will not be the vehicle for her re-baring. So when you see him and Justin Long have a sex scene... you’re dead sure that a comedic situation or something else will dampen the moment.

Fact is, Applegate’s character was the only character that had a good character design. Most of the scenes I found funny involved her. I especially like how a neat freak could delight a thanksgiving feast amidst the carnal carnage! Almost everyone in the film sounds and thinks alike. Drew could have been a girl character-wise than some bimbo that sounds like a guy. Sure there are a lot of familiar faces in this flick but how lame is it that some of their appearances were left hanging? Ron Livingston for instance, is virtually a cameo. Rob Riggle is the same thing. It seems to me that either their scenes were cut or their scenes could have been played by no-namers.

Also, I am a fan of Justin Long ever since his Ed days but I just don’t think his character is that good to land Drew Barrymore without some sort of insecurity issues! The guy screams miscast! This is the same guy that starred in a drama, comedy, romantic comedy, and a thriller THIS year! If only the guy didn’t look like a loser, perhaps had a not-so-goofy haircut and pretty much had breeding he could have been believable as Drew’s overachieving character’s love interest.

The film is like three complicated jigsaw puzzles you need to complete within three minutes. The intention to complete it is there but somehow you can easily spot that there are a lot of missing pieces.

Game over.


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