Going The Distance

If I’m honest, I approached this film with a certain amount of curiosity and trepidation.  A Hollywood romantic comedy about the highs and lows of a long distance relationship?  It could very easily miss the mark completely, and (if you don’t know me, I’m speaking from experience here) long-distance relationships aren’t that fun, certainly not a good thing to start making jokes about.

At the end of the film I was relieved.  The topic had been handled well, sharing both the good times and the difficulties.  Both characters had argued and struggled, and it was obvious that this wasn’t the best solution to the problems they were experiencing.   At the same time the film managed to capture that high when you see a partner that you’ve not seen in ages, showing that need to make the most of the short amounts of time available and whether the relationship has the strength to work through the problems and the distance or whether it’s all going to fall apart.

I felt that the film used different techniques to demonstrate the communication well – at the start of the relationships flurries of texts popping out on screen.  Later the film struggles to show communication in more innovative ways resorting to the classic methods of splitting the screen for a phone call, and switching between characters looking at a computer screen.

As for the cast Justin Long and Drew Barrymore both play just the everyman American as you’d expect them too.  I found at points that Barrymore’s accent annoyed me, I don’t know if this is a specific accent she adapted for the role or her natural accent but at times it really seemed to grate one the ears though this is obviously something you can bypass. The supporting cast is good and the majority of the performances felt very natural with the possible exception of Christina Applegate whose performance possibly felt a tad stilted though this may have been intentional to the character.

The film does well at never descending into schmaltz, it tends to keep a very realistic view of the way a relationship of this type would work and displays a very honest view of this…  At the end of the day however it’s a film that’s never really going to be held as a classic.  It tells its story and closes off but there wasn’t really anything hugely memorable about it.  I should add that it’s certainly worth a look if you are/have ever been in a long distance relationship as I think I would’ve found it re-assuring at the time.

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