18 January 2011

Movie Review: Going the Distance

Photo courtesy of Google Images

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited to long to take...
Garrett (Justin Long) just got out of a relationship with Amy (Leighton Meester), a hopeless romantic for the reason that he was not much of a boyfriend material. Boys will be boys, and so he goes out for drinks with his friends in a nearby bar. There, he meets this down to earth, cowgirl chick, Erin (Drew Barrymore) and has fun with her, committing nothing to each other but a one night stand. She's a summer intern in The Sentinel, which is based in New York, but she's going back to Stanford in California after six weeks to finish up her last year of grad school. The commitment turns into a summer fling. They have so much fun with each other -- spending time on the beach, going to carnivals. When she finally leaves, the summer fling turns into a long distance relationship. Garrett and Erin take turns visiting each other during weekends, and doing everything they can to make their relationship work; phone sex, even. Eventually, they had to leave the fun and talk about the big stuff, as their affair was starting to get serious and frankly, long distance relationships just don't work in the long run. Over the long haul, they had to give up -- Garrett wanted to live in New York and Erin wanted to take the job at the San Francisco Chronicle. They don't talk for six months, until Garrett decided it was about time he got out of the job he didn't like and pursue what he really wanted to do. He turned out to manage a band called The Boxer Rebellion, one of the first bands he and Erin went to watch together. The band lived in Los Angeles, a one-hour flight, six-hour drive, eighteen-hour hot air balloon ride from San Francisco. 

I myself experience the same thing everyday. I live in Quezon City which is up north while my boyfriend resides in Las Pinas (which is in the south), where I've lived most of life in. We go to different schools so we don't see each other much on weekdays, at least not if either of us goes home late. Weekends aren't a plus either -- it's either he visits me here, which is more of a hassle for him because of the long commute or I visit my home in Las Pinas. It isn't much of a big deal really, but I don't like staying too long in the south and I just visit there because of my little brother; so when I'm there, I like to spend most of my time with him. It must be easier now because of the technology -- I mean, there are all-text promos from Globe and there's Skype if we wanna see each other without leaving our own house. But really, it's not exactly the same thing. I'd still give anything for us to have a real date; eating at restaurants, fast food places or even just street food and / or watching a movie. I hate to think about it but we just spend most of our time in moving vehicles, when we're commuting. That's why every chance I get, I go out and grab it so I can see him. And we live just a short distance away from each other -- a two-hour drive if you wanna get technical, including traffic of course. So I really give my hats off to those couples who live miles apart and can pull it off. I've seen quite a few who lasted longer than I expected, but eventually, their relationship falters and dies. Just like Garrett said, we can't see each other every three months -- that's not a relationship.

Anyway, the film is all about just what the title really says -- going the distance. The love story ultimately ends in a perfect note, like any other romantic-comedy movie. But unlike any other chick flick, the film is made in such a way that it's patterned very close to reality. Of course, there's the usual cliche of surprises with bouquets of flowers and candles lighting up the room to set a romantic mood. Garrett is definitely the ideal guy that will make female audiences speak nothing but aww's during the movie and will probably make them wish their boyfriends and husbands were a little more like him. But I guess I could speak for a lot when I say that the movie captured moments that every couple has gone through, or will go through, in due course. Moreover, Long and Barrymore have portrayed their roles so well, making the audience believe that there's something more than there really is. It also doesn't hurt that there are a number of comedic scenes thrown here and there; funny scenes and well-played characters that are off the hook. It's the perfect romantic-comedy-chick-flick movie, if you're into that sort of thing, to watch with your partner or even your girl friends. Four stars for this movie, for me :-)

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