Movies: Going the Distance **
(15A, GENERAL RELEASE)
In case you're not up on these things like I am, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long have been going out with each other, and their familiarity brings a certain on-screen chemistry to this broad romantic comedy. Which I must say is just as well because it doesn't have a whole lot else going for it.
Written by Geoff LaTulippe and directed by Nanette Burstein, Going the Distance stars Long as Garrett, a young New Yorker who's drowning his sorrows in a bar because his girlfriend's left him when he meets a refreshingly straightforward, no-nonsense girl.
Erin (Barrymore) takes a shine to him too, and they begin dating. However, there's a catch: she's only in New York for the summer and will shortly return to San Francisco to complete her studies in journalism.
When she leaves, they vow to keep their relationship going long distance until they can come up with a more permanent solution. But this proves difficult, as neither seem prepared to up sticks and move to the other's city.
Christina Applegate plays Erin's dubious sister, and Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day ham it up as the obligatory comedy friends, but for all its airmiles and frantic to-ing and fro-ing, Going the Distance never really gets off the ground.
Its jokes and plot twists can be seen a mile off, and at times the film feels like it was designed by a committee of romantically inclined robots.
And, by the way, I've decided after much reflection, that writing romantic comedies and using the words 'dick' and 'vagina' should be mutually exclusive activities.