Drew Barrymore's Gimmick-Free Romcom

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?

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&from=sp&fg=MsnEntertainment_MoviesTrailersGP2_a&vid=d60f3cf8-2176-4b2b-b797-de1384117257" target="_new" title="Exclusive: 'Going the Distance' Trailer">Video: Exclusive: 'Going the Distance' Trailer</a>

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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.

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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.

Exclusive: Going The Distance Trailer [Bing]

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DISCUSSION

Personally, I don't get the (500) Days of Summer hate. I loved it. I would choose it over the dreaded Valentine's Day any day of the week. It was never your run of the mill rom com. Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dummy - those are atypical romances that are worth more than so many contrived mainstream rom coms. This film with its "mild touches of hipster urbanism, and chorus of hyper-involved, wisecracking buddies" looks like it can join the ranks of movies I'd enjoy. And trashing "hipster urbanism"? Come on! Let's remember what the alternative can be: Sex & the City 2, revenge of the Saks 5th Avenue Summer Catalog!