Sunday, September 19, 2010

Going the Distance

This morning I saw Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long.

Erin (Barrymore) is a grad student interning at a New York newspaper when she meets Garrett (Long), a record label talent searcher, disgruntled with the changing industry.

They have a meet-cute over a Centipede arcade game and fall in love at first sight. The couple's chemistry is believable (perhaps because they're a real-life pairing) and we can't help it that we want them to be together.

But what happens when two people find perfect bliss and then have to part indefinitely?

At first, nothing. When Erin returns to the West Coast to finish her degree, we experience the romance of long distance. There are late night phone calls, webcam chats and surprise visits. Absence is making the heart grow fonder.

Then, there's the realization that when each of them wakes up in the morning, the other is not lying next to them. That can hurt, especially when one is at a point in there life where major decisions are going to need to be made.

Erin is faced with such a decision regarding her career and her living situation (she's 31 and still bunking with her big sis). Does she sacrifice relationship for career or vice versa? The question may be a no-brainer for those who already have families, but for the single folk out there (especially the women) it's a much tougher call.

The story in this film is a simple one, but the writing and delightful presence of the leads makes it more than watchable. It's an enjoyable representation of modern relationships that all of us Gen Xers can surely relate to in one way or another.

I felt special kinship with Erin when she told her lover that she did in fact like saying "I told you so" when he was wrong. Those words have come out of my mouth more than a few times with partners, and it was nice to see a fictional person behaving so honestly.

This movie avoids typical rom-com clich├ęs with just enough reality to keep us invested and the laughs come easily.

A refreshing change from the status quo.


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