Going the Distance
The New York romance has been done many times. For a first time scriptwriter, it’s a strangely cliched avenue to choose, so Geoff LaTulippe had his job cut out for him. This script, and growing up with the last name LaTulippe. Remarkably, LaTulippe’s attempt is commendable. It’s funny, and a fresh. Yes, he still has the expected scenes like the obligatory summer dating montage.
Dealing with a reality for many relationships today, one couple Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (Justin Long) date just long enough to fall in love before fate sends one to San Francisco, while the other one pines away in New York. Quite a lot of emphasis is placed on the lack of jobs available everywhere. Particularly in Erin and Garrett’s industries. Garrett has a low level position at a record label, and Erin is finishing up her graduate degree at Stanford in reporting, and desperately seeking employment in dying industries. Their situation is, indeed, a little stark. And travel is so cost prohibitive, the couple rarely gets to even see each other.
Director Nanette Burstein keeps the film tight the majority of the time. She navigates the dreariness of the situation, infusing it with an awful lot of funny parts. And it’s not nearly as crass as you might have heard. Yes, there is a very awkward phone sex moment, but the saucy moments are more funny than offensive (I promise this is true, it’s not like Get Him to the Greek). The writing, and Ms. Burstein manage to make the viewer care about this couple who would be hipsters if they weren’t just so darn likable. It may not be as funny as it’s peers. It may be a bit generic. But it does exactly what it sets out to do. Make you chuckle and go ‘ah’.