Review: Going the Distance DVD

Going the Distance DVD boxSTUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Nanette Burstein | CAST: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jim Gaffigan
RELEASE DATE: 11/30/10 | PRICE: DVD $28.98, Blu-ray/DVD combo $35.99
BONUSES: featurettes, additional scenes; Blu-ray commentary, featurettes, cast improvisations, music videos, digital copy, more
SPECS: R | 102 min. | Romantic comedy | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

Going the Distance is the narrative feature film debut from documentarian Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture), whose work in this movie appears to be influenced by the R-rated sexcapades of The Hangover and Judd Apatow’s oeuvre.

In the movie, aspiring journalist Drew Barrymore (Everybody’s Fine) meets music company promotions man Justin Long (He’s Just Not That Into You) in a New York bar. They play videogames, then plunge into a hot-and-heavy romance that is soon interrupted by the fact that she must head home to San Francisco while he remains in New York. How does a couple cope with such a predicament?

That’s the film’s main question, made human by the chemistry of the two leads and comedic by funny supporting bits by Barrymore’s uptight sister Christina Applegate (The Rocker), goofy brother-in-law Jim Gaffigan (Away We Go) and Long’s unpredictable slacker sidekicks Jason Sudeikis (What Happens in Vegas) and Charlie Day (TV’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

Going the Distance‘s much-worked-upon screenplay, credited to first-time writer Geoff LaTulippe, flaunts its R-rating with profane dialog and comic asides about sex and bodily functions, then tries to win over its audience with some fuzzy-wuzzy sentiments. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s thanks to its cast, especially the endearingly funky Barrymore.

The movie also boasts some nice Manhattan locations, pop culture references to the likes of the videogame Centipede and a soundtrack packed with 1970s and 1980s tunes.

There are only a couple of special features on the DVD, including additional scenes. The lion’s share of the bonus materials are on the Blu-ray disc, led by a director’s commentary and a look at putting together the aforementioned infectious soundtrack.


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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.