There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Going The Distance: female director who made her name on hard-hitting documentaries, a debut screenwriter, utterly uncontrived premise, some people really like Drew Barrymore... but is it any good?
The premise: two cute creative professionals in New York meet six weeks before she's taking off for San Francisco. They decide to stay in separate cities but try a long distance relationship, except then she (a journalist, apparently) gets her dream job in California. Wait, I thought ladies always gave up their journalist careers for love at the end of romcoms. We shall see.
Starring real-life couple Justin Long and Barrymore, Going The Distance was directed by Nanette Burstein, her first big-budget feature after American Teen and Oscar-nominated On The Ropes wowed critics. The script was sold on spec by a studio script reader, Geoff LaTulippe, who is now adapting a zombie book for Diablo Cody.
It's clearly been influenced by (500) Days Of Summer in its pacing, mild touches of hipster urbanism, and chorus of hyper-involved, wisecracking buddies. (Unlike Zooey Deschanel, Barrymore even gets her own supporting character counterpart — a sister played by Christina Applegate who has a funny line about dry-humping.) But if that movie's gimmick was its narrative structure, this one seems refreshingly free of overwrought devices.