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STUDIO: Warner Brothers
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
• Deleted Scenes
• Music Video
• Soundtrack Promo
• DVD Copy
• Digital Copy
Two white people hook up, then mope about long-distance boning.
Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Christina Applegate, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis
Romantic comedies were starting to get better, then we got hit with a Heigl-Class annihilation wave. Everything became about drawing attention to the subgenre and poking fun at like a spastic Jamie Kennedy waiting to get gutted by Laurie Metcalf in a parked van. Two decent looking white people say to hell with this and they try to make the most out of a six week fling. Fighting against common sense, they decide to turn their fling into a long-distance relationship. Enter a weird support system for both genders, as they mug for the camera and quip off-color humor. The filmmakers seemed to want to give men a film to watch while their ladies were on the rag, but they failed. This film is the rag.
Going the Distance is the kind of film that makes dumb people praise Judd Apatow. Basically, any male filmmakers that can attempt to make a romantic comedy gets a pass if he manages to sneak enough Jew ‘fros and self-realization into it. The end result is the death of the competent male in American cinema, while the feminine cinematic force rises above and tries to assert a feeling of malaise across all work. I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with the movie. Well, this ain’t The Princess Bride…so shut the fuck up and listen to my story.
Like most successful formulas, other studios have stolen the Apatow model and have ran it into the ground. Sometimes, you end up with films like this that make you wonder why everything needs to be rated R. Bordering on extended sitcom and dirty comedy, we get a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate get to play this up, as they seem to be acting in a far raunchier movie than the almost teen-tinged antics of Barrymore and Long. Charlie Day appears to give this studio tripe some street cred with the college crowd, but the once and future Dayman just appears lost.
What hurts the romantic comedy is the basic nature of the film. A rom-com is designed to appeal to the masses, while trying to desperately find a hook to wow both genders. The ones that fail are called chicks flicks and the few successes are always deemed surprising sleepers. There you have it. A failed film in a long line of failed films trying to emulate the few successes that tried for something more. Everything’s getting so meta in here that almost forget to mention my issues with the content clash.
Basically, you can’t run filthy humor into saccharine sweet romance. If the humor doesn’t naturally flow from the central conceit, then you’ve got jokes about men trying to force cougars into fucking them. It steals focus away from the main characters, while you have to entertain the notion that moustaches will get Jane Seymour to put her snatch on your face. Jane Seymour doesn’t appear the film, she’s just my sexy example of how this film falls apart. What does this mean for you, the discerning viewer?
Well, you’re thrown into a pickle of trying to figure out how a romantic comedy can work in a world where everyone wants to make men and women happy. Gender politics should never be the driving force of a motion picture, but you’re often left having to watch the result of a film decided by hormone-based community. Talk too much about emotions and you run the risk of turning into a dialogue heavy affair that never moves past the shit setup in the first act. Talk too much about deep-dicking and spooge, then you run the risk of alienating half of your audience with stilted talk about supposedly mature issues. Can anyone break out of this cycle or are we doomed to this?
This being a film that tries too hard. Going the Distance could’ve been a good film had it not felt like a film that was trying to fill a previously established time limit. The script is beyond weak and the direction never gets a chance to life it above sitcom level. Drew Barrymore starts the film strong, as you can actually see the tiny mouse roaming inside of her brain to keep her moving in a finite relationship. Justin Long suffers the most from the lack of direction/script, as he never gives the sense of knowing what he’s doing. He’s a directionless male lead that could almost fit into the Apatow mold if there was any sense of creative flow.
When you struggle to remember this film, I hope that you take this away from the experience. The current adult generation is becoming defined by its inability to accept logical limitations. Everyone’s a winner, everything will work out and there’s still good in everything. None of that applies here, as you have to endure yet another film that tells men to be weak and women to be unfocused. Rise above, good people. Every time you pay money to watch films like this, you keep Drew Barrymore further and further away from better fare like Whip It. Sorry for the delay in getting this up. It’s been sitting on my server, while I waited for things to stabilize.
The Blu-Ray comes with a commentary, deleted scenes and some featurettes. The usual WB mix of digital and DVD copy is also included for those that like to have every front covered. The A/V Quality is average for a romantic comedy with a slightly above average bitrate. The DTS HD 5.1 master audio track supports moments of actual background noise, but there’s little on the track outside of dialogue. The band featured in the film gets a music video that’s semi-decent. Still, there’s not a whole lot here for people that don’t really want to go past the main feature. If you know someone that doesn’t want more than a rental out of this, then stick them with this crappy movie.
Rating: Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars