The only hope I had that Going the Distance would stand out from the recent list of rom-coms that I've seen and hated is that Drew Barrymore and Justin Long are the stars. Otherwise, I thought, what could be less original than a movie about a long-distance romance? Turns out I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised - original it is. What sets the film apart is clever, modern dialogue, a little edgy, but not overly crude, characters who know how to do comedy, and fantastic chemistry between Barrymore, who plays a journalist named Erin, and Long, who plays Garrett, a music industry up-and-comer. The new couple have to travel between San Francisco and New York to see each, trying to keep the spark alive. It explores the reality of being in love but wanting to put your career first whether you're a man or a woman.

The supporting cast is full of great comic actors including Jim Gaffigan, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate. Surprising to see Applegate in the role of Erin's sister because she's usually playing the lead herself, but she gets extra credit for taking on this secondary role. She was so funny as neurotic-clean-freak-housewife and mommy that my husband and I actually had to pause the DVD we were laughing so hard.
And while it's easy to think that a movie like this is going to end on a blissfully happy note, it doesn't quite give us that Hollywood-typical ending we're so used to in movies of this genre. And guess what? In spite of there being a lot of plane travel, nobody rushes to the airport to stop anybody from going somewhere, or dashes on to a plane for a confession of love! This is a movie with soul. It explores the reality of being in love but wanting to put your career first whether you're a man or a woman, and how in this day and age, you might just have to choose work over romance. It's not a fairytale or a fantasy, just some real people in (mostly) real situations that make you remember how special being in love can be. Going the Distance will give you a much-needed break from the rat-race, the rut, or whatever you're stuck in, and give you that great big laugh you know you need.

Movie reviewed by Georgina Young-Ellis

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