Flimsy romcom worthwhile

2010-09-21 00:00

DREW Barrymore is the quiet girl- next-door of romcoms compared with the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts. She’s probably not drawn the attention of the others because audiences still expect the child shooting-star to crash and burn, again.

On the contrary, though, she’s quietly been putting together a solid collection of roles in romantic comedies, which although seldom wildly memorable, are sweet enough to keep the sentimentally minded wanting more of her.

In Going The Distance she plays Erin, who, when we meet her, is an intern on a New York news- paper. She comes across as wild and carefree and hard-drinking enough to be one of the guys.

Along comes Garrett (Justin Long, her real-life lover), hours after being dumped for, so the joke goes, imagining that what his ex said was what she wanted.

Befuddled by love, he falls for the girl who could be a bloke except she’s hot. He’s not, but then there’s no accounting for taste. The scene having been set for happy ever after, Erin heads off back to San Francisco when her job comes to an end and the relationship enters limboland where the push and pull of distance wreaks havoc on good intentions.

Actually, Erin and Garrett stay very firmly on the safe side of the fence, the gross and risky behaviour being left to his best friends, who provide a steady stream of ridicule and humour to enhance by contrast the virtues of the couple.

Christina Applegate in the role of Erin’s uptight, germphobic sister performs a similar, sobering caution of what happens to people who don’t abandon themselves to true love.

The storyline is flimsy and battles to go the distance, but many witty one-liners along the way, together with another charming performance from Barrymore, make the long haul worthwhile. ***

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