Aspiring reporter Erin (Drew Barrymore) meets record exec Garrett (Justin Long) at an NYC bar, and shares his bong and bed that night. Though Erin at first only wants a summer fling before she returns to grad school at Stanford, once the fall hits, they try to keep the passion alive long-distance.
The film’s biggest problem: The costars — despite their real-life are-they-or-aren’t-they relationship — lack the crazy spark that’s needed in good romantic comedies. And once Erin returns to the Bay Area from NYC, the movie pingpongs between the two places, which grows tiresome. As for the humor, it’s pretty lame: Garrett gets a spray tan, but leaves a handprint on his own butt! Yuk, yuk, yuk. The supporting cast — including Christina Applegate as Erin’s sister — offers some better laughs, though the biggest ones were in the trailer (Erin and Garrett have reunion sex on Applegate’s kitchen table in the dark, oblivious to the fact that her husband’s eating at the far end). While Going the Distance had potential, it doesn’t go far enough. Two stars out of Four.