Films | Movie Reviews | Going the distance – Review

Going the distance – Review

Posted by Editor on October 2, 2010 | No Comments

Film  – Going the distance
Producer – Jennifer Gibgot, Garrett Grant, Adam Shankman,
Director – Nanette Burstein
Writer – Geoff LaTulippe
Actors – Drew Barrymore, Justin Long

It seems a weekend for ‘real men’. If you are one of the believers of the adage, ‘real men cry’ then maybe this movie is for you. Because the male lead Garrett (Justin Long) is not your Mills and Boons hero or a macho stereotype who keeps his emotions deep under the surface. He is a regular normal guy who loves to love and with a passion.

And he meets his match in Erin, (Drew Barrymore). They strike up much more than a friendship in her twenty day sojourn in New York and flies back to San Francisco with a long-distance relationship.
They have found a strong friendship, struck a deep bond. The struggle now is to maintain it over the huge distance. Will they, won’t they? That’s the teasing question.

Going the distance could have been hugely sentimental as most romances are. Or have emotionally complex central characters to infuse drama or the sense of intensity. But it chooses to stay on a level ground. It stays sane, understated emotions and a tone of edgy realism that never gets too hard-hitting. The spicy language and unabridged tone also adds to the relatability quotient however dreamy or ‘safe’ the content maybe otherwise.
The edginess of the film comes from its screenplay, the pace and unravelling as it happens. It is textbook screenplay but the development of the relationship is telling, stage by stage, almost bookish but with the same restraint lovers in real-life would have before emotionally committing after one heart break. The distance is the villain, the culprit and however tame the surrounding constructs may seem, the relationship between Erin and Garrett keeps one hooked to the charming couple so much in love yet so collected and sane.

Without the emotional baggage that generally surrounds characters of romances, Going the Distance becomes a fun caper, also because the sub-text is such. Of having a relationship that is fun. Of being with someone who is fun, one’s best friend. It is the emphasis on this element of friendship and camaraderie that keeps the film rooted and beyond the realms of cheesy happily ever afters. It is a film that does away with all pretense, juxtaposing the good with the bad, the pretty with the ugly but the germ is that its possible to live even with the ugly if only we have a little bit of love and friendship around.

Going the Distance is a good balance of soppy and fun. Even if there is nothing really dramatic it is engaging till the end. Besides its refreshing to watch couples choosing to be together because they are friends first and love each other because of that precious connection. Really it is high-time films topped selling pink fluff and got ‘real’.

Fatema H.Kagalwala

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