Sunday, November 27, 2011

Episode 61.5 - Going the Distance Review 7/10

Going the Distance - 2010 - Nanette Burstein

What is it about a romantic comedy's fear that its natural humor isn't enough to make for a good movie that it regularly feels it has to go and inject tasteless, classless silicon humor into a beautifully sculpted plot? People who know me well enough know that when it comes to comedies, there's one major pet peeve that I can't stand and that's when it is blatantly obvious that the scriptwriters wrote the joke before they wrote the situation it fits in. It's like those women at Wal-Mart who buy the pink booty shorts and then try to sculpt their fat asses to fit them after the fact.
As a filmgoer, I prefer to go and enjoy a movie, not test my gag reflex but Going the Distance felt obligated to cram as much sex as it could onto the screen that I honestly started to get annoyed when the main couple was having it. Two people trying to keep a relationship working cross-country? Usually it's nice when they get to see each other and fuck each other's brains out. You understand the importance of that, but because that subject was NEVER STEERED AWAY FROM, it just killed the moment.
Going the Distance is about Erin (Drew Barrymore, who doesn't help me feel any better about her) and Garrett (Justin Long, playing the same role Justin Long always plays) and their long distance relationship that begins one summer with an amazing 6 weeks in New York of what actually looks like a strong relationship until Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis start talking about it and make everything about sex. With Erin living in San Francisco to finish grad school for a year, the two still make the decision to try the long-distance relationship work, seeing each other every few weeks while overcoming the challenge of…well, not temptation from other people, not loneliness or longing, not overwhelming trust issues, but the challenge of being really fucking horny…which kind of makes those other three seem like they'd be a much more important factor than they were, but instead were conveniently ignored because sex jokes are funny*.
Now, it did keep the rule intact and I do feel that the two made a great couple during the time that started the movie, so it's got that going for it, but honestly, every single one of Erin and Garrett's friends can just die on fire. Their moronic insights were cliché and embarrassing and the most enjoyment I got was when Erin and Garrett were together enjoying life, which was conveniently filmed like they didn't realize a camera was on them. It was kind of weird how half of this looked like a low-budget production (which is never a bad thing) and other times it looked like a big-budget Hollywood rom-com, though it doesn't surprise me that I hated all the Hollywood rom-com parts, I can't speak bad of the writers because I know when they're in their marketing meetings they get asked the question "well how are you going to handle the college kids going to 'date night'?" and they can only answer "well, we can make it raunchier." Sorry guys, that's why you go Indie.
All things considered, the film was ok. On those few sweet moments where the lovers weren't having sex or talking about sex or figuring out when they could have sex or having phone sex or talking with their friends about sex or complaining about how much they want sex, this was sex actually a very sex fun sex, charming romantic comedy sex sex sex…ah damn it. And it's not that the sex was that usual kind of nausea-inducing crap that made me walk away screaming like with some of the other movies in this blog, it was just excessive and really took away from what the two had going for them so it missed so many opportunities to really be memorable. It's all about casting; take out these type-cast frat boy rejects and put in people who can still fit that bill if they have to, but also how to play roles with a sense of class (thinking Isla Fisher, Michelle Monaghan, Rachel McAdams, Jake Gyllenhall, Ryan Reynolds, etc.) and you might have actually had a phenomenal film on your hands. But no, instead Going the Distance is just chalk-full of this National Lampoon, never been kissed, no blood-in-the-brain, nonsense played by Hollywood's "Sukka Lotta Cokka" fraternity and sorority elite.
Points for trying, demerits for plenty else. 7 dustbusters out of 10 and holy god is that being generous but like I said, not nauseating, just excessive. They kept the rule intact which was surprising considering what it had to work with.

1 comment:

  1. Cute little Gertie from "E.T." all grown up and fucking the Mac guy (Justin LONG? That's just got to be his porn name)? Hm. I considered seeing this one at the theater because I like Drew Barrymore (for the most part), but most reviews I saw compared it to the "raunchy college sex comedy" cliched genre and nobody that I knew had ventured to see it, so I gave up on it. Sounds like that was a good decision. If I want that much bangin', well...I have the internet for a reason :)