Going The Distance (2 stars)

Going The Distance

(15) 102min

Whisper it quietly, but Drew Barrymore is beginning to lose her touch. Her early likeable films Never Been Kissed and The Wedding Singer meant we cut her a lot of slack as the girl-next-door. But after Music and Lyrics, 50 First Dates, Our House and now this woeful rom-com from director Nanette Burstein (American Teen, The Kid Stays in the Picture), the black marks are beginning to stack up. Having recently completed her credible directorial effort Whip It! this may be the moment to call time on a niche she’s milked for much of her adult career.

It doesn’t help that a lazy script by debut screenwriter Geoff LaTulippe weighs her down. She plays Erin, a student wannabe journalist who meets Garrett (Justin Long), a lowly A&R man, while on a break in New York. After six weeks of more fun than either had imagined, it’s time for her to return to San Francisco to study. The difficulties of a long-distance relationship loom – and Skype chats, phone sex and brief visitations follow as the months drag by (and do they drag).

There’s the odd funny moment – notably when Garrett and Erin are caught getting hot and horny on her sister’s dining room table – but these are too few to lift the gloom of what is a dispiriting experience. Previously together in He’s Just Not That Into You, and an on-off couple in real-life, Long and Barrymore are both decent and likeable comic performers – and their on-screen chemistry is beyond doubt. But this cliché-riddled twaddle does neither any favours.

General release, Fri 10 Sep.

Going The Distance trailer

Going the Distance

  • 2 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 1h 42min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Nanette Burstein
  • Written by: Geoff LaTulippe
  • Cast: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Ron Livingston, Christina Applegate

Journalism student (Barrymore) and A&R man (Long) embark on a six-week romance that leaves them convinced they are meant to be together. Tragedy strikes when Erin returns to her studies, leaving them long-distance. A dispiriting movie experience from two perfectly competent romcom stalwarts.