Going the Distance

Very funny, but surprisingly raunchy and profane. I've never seen Drew Barrymore ("Whip It") throw back her head and laugh the way she does in this one. I really liked seeing her so unrestrained!

Her character is in New York working as an intern for a newspaper; she meets a guy the night he breaks up with his girlfriend. She starts out by berating him in a profanity-laced, verbal assault; he's pretty impressed by her mastery of the language but he makes her laugh, so they start dating. It is agreed that she will be returning to California in a couple of months, while our hero, played by Justin Long ("Saturday Night Live") stays gainfully employed in New York, so there will be NO romantic entanglements. ...Yeah...right....

A couple of things should be acknowledged: 1) This movie illustrates the employment challenges that confront young adults these days. 2) This is another film where the romantic lead gets all of his relationship advice from his single, immature buddies.

Once our gal is back in California, she stays with her married sister and family. This is one time I'm happy to eat my words. I have never had much use for Christina Applegate ("Samantha Who?") but here I found her to be consistently funny and appealing as the mysophobic sister, constantly scrubbing and sanitizing everything. By the way, potty mouth seems to be a family trait.

Of course bi-coastal relationships are fraught with peril, and this one is no different. Both of our lovers are lonely, so they are in constant touch: calling, e-mailing and Instant Messaging. They even try phone sex, but neither of them know enough about it to be very successful. To me, the funniest thing was when an irritated friend snatched our hero's cellphone, grabbed a golf club and lambasted the thing into Kingdom Come! I led the applause for that one!

No big surprises. Romantic comedies are what they are. We laughed more than we expected but I will be glad when Drew's contract with CoverGirl expires. She's a little overdone....