Sunday, 3 July 2011

Going The Distance (Burstein, 2010)

‘Going the Distance’ as you can probably guess is a film about the inherent difficulties involved in trying to make a long distance relationship work; it’s a problem that is very relevant for me and my age group. Being a student has plenty of perks but the reality that any relationship you want to enter into is likely to be long distance for at least part of the year and let’s not pretend otherwise, that’s never ideal.

The film focuses on aspiring journalist Erin, played by Drew Barrymore, who while on an internship at a New York newspaper meets and begins to fall for record label staffer Garrett, ‘Dodgeball’ and ‘Die Hard’s’ Justin Long. The problem is that she’s only in New York for 6 weeks, before she has to head back to San Fransisco and the fledgling couple have to decide whether to try and keep the relationship going despite the new found distance or to accept that they’d had a good time but that neither could face a long distance relationship.

Obviously they choose the former, because it would have been a very short film otherwise, but the plot looks at all the problems that come from only being able to see the person you love for a couple of days a month. Admittedly English students don’t have to deal with the additional obstacle of the time difference, but other than that the majority of the troubles faced by the pair are ones that will be familiar in some form to any student who’s been in a long distance relationship.

The two leads are excellent, with a really easy and believable chemistry, but often the funniest lines are given to the four key supporting characters. Garrett’s best friends Dan and Box, played respectively by the excellent Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, both of whom are starring in the very funny looking ‘Horrible Bosses’ which comes out this summer, get arguably the majority of the laugh out loud moments throughout, especially Dan’s attempts to DJ Erin and Garrett’s relationship. Erin’s sister and her husband also offer contrast to the young and in love couple, by showing a married couple and the very different challenges involved when you persevere with a relationship.

The film also boasts a really strong soundtrack, heavily featuring one of my favourite bands at the moment, ‘The Boxer Rebellion’, there’s even a couple of live performances worked into the plot, and also including tracks from ‘The Cure’, ‘The Replacements’ and ‘Muddy Waters’ amongst others.

The combination of being very funny, having a great soundtrack, some really strong performances and having more than a slight relevance to the lives of me and my friends means that I really enjoyed ‘Going the Distance’. Sure it's a little cheesy at times, like any rom-com, but it knows how to offset that with just enough stupidity that the balance remains right.


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