'Going The Distance's' Drew Barrymore and Justin Long discuss the new recession romance
The Four Seasons hotel was the site of a rambunctious gathering of the most of the cast and filmmakers of "Going The Distance," the new romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. The film explores the trials and tribulations of a young couple forced into a long distance relationship.
Very much a "recession romance" the couple is forced to be apart by money, circumstances and by both characters desires to work in two fields; print journalism and the record business, that are hardly prospering. This less than fluffy premise is a departure for this usually escapist genre, and although hardly "gritty" the situation and the characters are approached honestly, very much by design.
Producer Adam Shankman expounded "One of the most important things going into this movie that we talked about before it was even cast was the fact that there had to be a lot of honesty, which is why it couldn't be anything but (rated) R. You can't do a good comedy without it coming from something that's very grounded and real at its core."
Director Nanette Burnstein ("American Teen") a documentary director on her first fictional narrative agreed. "I think what we were trying to do tonally is different than the traditional romantic comedy, I mean people are uncensored, there's a real grounded story about feelings and emotion, you really care about these characters. It was always our intention to make it as honest as possible."
Although Barrymore and Long, who dated in the past, and may still be dating, do have chemistry, the characters that make up their emotional support structures are played by talented actors and comedians who elevate these side characters beyond the one dimensional "gay best friend" or "poker buddy" stock rom-com characters.
Drew Barrymore's slightly neurotic sister is played by Christina Applegate. The two women have known each other a long time and it shows on screen. Applegate said "We kind of look at each other and i feel like I know the inside of this lady over here, kind of more than anybody and she kind of knows me on the level that you don't talk about, so being sisters was really easy."
Barrymore added: "I love when people cast siblings that actually could have come from the same womb. We used to be in a dance class together when we were kids, but she looked really good in spandex and I did not."
Applegate smiled and quipped back "So I made a career out of it. "
Justin Long's two best friends "Dan" and "Box" are played by SNL's Jason Sudeikis and "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" Charlie Day respectively. The three actors were allowed to riff and improvise which resulted in some very funny, and very natural scenes. Sudeikis verified this: "I would say the movie captures pretty much what it would be like to watch the three of us hang out typically."
Justin Long added that this was not always a good thing "I've never had a harder time keeping a straight face than around these guys."
Charlie Day downplayed their role: "We get to sort of have the most fun in the movie, as far as coming in and being light. We don't have to carry any emotional arc."
To which Sudeikis replied: "Low-stakes, High-larity" getting a good laugh out of the crowd. "That will work in print if you use a hyphen." He helpfully added for the room full of print journalists.
As someone who tends to dislike the run of the mill romantic comedy, I was pleasantly surprised by the comedy and the depth of "Going The Distance." It was a pleasure to see a mature but laid back cast that related to each other as human beings, both off and on screen.
Below are three clips from the film, highlighting the cast and the film's relaxed feel.
"Going The Distance" opens nationwide Friday September 3rd.
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
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