Reviewed by: Spencer Schumacher
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
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|Featuring:||Drew Barrymore (Erin), Justin Long (Garrett), Charlie Day (Dan), Jason Sudeikis (Box), Christina Applegate (Corinne), Ron Livingston (Will), more »|
|Producer:||New Line Cinema, Offspring Entertainment, Jennifer Gibgot, Garrett Grant, Adam Shankman|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“A comedy about meeting each other halfway.”
In 1896, The Edison company startled audiences with a 47 second film in which its screen stars, May Irwin and John Rice, passionately kiss for the duration of the short film. The film appropriately enough was simply called “The Kiss”, it was one of the first pieces of celluloid running through a projector that would eventually lead to what we now know today as motion pictures. It was also the film that would launch a whole genre of motion pictures called romantic-comedies, or rom-com’s.
More than 100 years later this particular hybrid of romance and comedy has become one of the most popular and successful movie genres in the entertainment industry. Each year at least of handful of rom-coms grace the silver screen, “Going The Distance” is the latest and just like its 47 second forerunner, many who choose to see this rom-com (particularly Christians who rely on this particular site to inform their entertainment choices) will find themselves having similar reactions to those penned by a critic of “The Kiss” who wrote, “the spectacle of the prolonged pasturing on each other’s lips… magnified to gargantuan proportions and repeated three times over (is) absolutely disgusting.”
“Going the Distance” stars Justin Long as Garrett, a talent scout for a New York record label, who has just broken up with his girl friend on her birthday because of his inadequate communication skills. He goes out to commiserate with his drinking buddies and meets Erin (Drew Barrymore) and finds that they have many similar interests. Erin is in New York for a summer internship and has ambitions to be a reporter for the New York Sentinel. They both realize there is chemistry between them, but both understand that it would be disadvantageous for them to commit to a serious relationship, since Garrett is trying to mend a broken heart and Erin is heading back to San Francisco in a matter of weeks.
In those intervening weeks both Garrett and Erin realize that there is more to this relationship than either had planned and that this ‘summer fling’ might actually be the real thing. So against their better judgment as well as the advice of Garrett’s friends and Erin’s sister Corrine (Christina Applegate) they decide to test their relationship against the 3,000 miles that separates them.
Besides the distance that separates the two, there is also the obstacle of each trying to find success and fulfillment in their respective careers, both of which have them locked in their current state. The relationship hinges upon the question as to which of them is willing to sacrifice their career for a chance to make this relationship work.
For fans of romantic comedies, there is some fresh material about maintaining a romance against all odds and there is genuine chemistry between Long and Barrymoore (who are a real item off screen as well). The true test of a romantic-comedy, however, comes with the second half of that hyphenated category, is the film funny? Well, to help ensure the film’s humor the cast consists of just about every stand-up comedian who has had a special on Comedy Central. With this cast of comedians surrounding Barrymoore and Long there are some truly funny moments, however much of the comedy is of a sexual nature or just plain crude.
It is the comedic aspect of this love story that many viewers will probably find the most objectionable. The story centers around the distance of separation that this couple faces, and since only moments after their first encounter they end up in bed together, their sexual appetites are one of the key challenges they have to deal with. In their phone conversations they talk intimately about how much they “need” each other, and how they can help each other resolve this sexual frustration by engaging in intimate conversations over the phone. There is a scene where Erin and Garrett engage in phone sex in very sexually suggestive language. While they are talking, they both act upon the conversation by means of personal gratification.
Let me make this perfectly clear, the film is rated “R” and lives up to every ounce of that rating. There is pervasive profanity throughout the movie including the “f-word” used on multiple occasions seemingly by every character except Erin’s ten year old niece. Erin’s sister Corrine (Applegate) seems incapable of uttering a simple sentence without using the “f-word” as a colorful adverb. There are also a couple uses of your other garden variety curse words and the ever present “g.d.” is uttered on a few occasions.
In addition to the “self-gratification” scene described above there are multiple sex scenes between Garrett and Erin (who Christian audiences will quickly note are not married and therefore should not be engaging in the sexual activity they freely engage in—there is also a ‘fully clothed sex scene between a ‘married couple’) that are very suggestive including a scene on a table top where the two engage in sex and the consequences of that act become a running joke about bodily fluids throughout the rest of the film, in this scene Garrett’s bottom is clearly seen. Think of the ‘hair gel’ scene in “There’s Something About Mary,” and you’ll get the gist of the scene, as well as the particular brand of humor this movie is aiming for. In addition there is a scene where Garrett is completely naked while getting an artificial sun tan, during the scene his private areas are covered by his hands.
On the morality scale of romantic-comedies if one put more tamer fare such as “When Harry Met Sally” (with it’s now classic delicatessen—“I’ll have what she’s having” scene) on one side of the spectrum and “There’s Something About Mary” or “Knocked Up” on the other, than “Going the Distance” would definitely fall closer, if not surpassing, in the spectrum to the latter two which combined romantic-comedy with elements of “gross-out” humor.
Which gets to the point of this particular film, there are parts to this movie that are genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, and if you enjoy your comedy in the more of the “gross-out” variety, you will no doubt be entertained by this latest installment. However, if that type of humor is not to your liking, then you will probably find yourself with a similar opinion of the aforementioned film critic who reviewed “The Kiss” in 1896 and find “Going the Distance” to be “absolutely disgusting.”
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
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