Going the Distance is one of the few romantic comedies in recent years that gives me hope that there’s still life - and more importantly, humor - left in the genre. Part of that may be attributed to the excellent, possibly even underrated cast, which includes Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate. Separately, all of these actors have proven to be funny. Together, there’s a chemistry that works really well. While the cast deserves plenty of credit, the writing and direction also stand out as being particularly on point.
When Harry Met Sally is a great example of a movie that raised the bar for romantic comedies. What makes the film hold up decades later isn’t some silly, unlikely and predictable set-up through which the two characters are awkwardly forced, which is what we might see in some other, far more generic romantic comedy. It’s about the dialogue. The conversations between Meg Ryan’s Sally and Billy Crystal’s Harry are great to watch over and over. They have chemistry and the writing has a rhythm that is funny and also feels real, as though these characters are people you might actually know. Going the Distance finds a similar balance in its script as Drew Barrymore and Justin Long meet, fall for one another, and are soon faced with the challenge of having a long distance relationship. While the plot works fine, the movie is really less about the story, as it is about their interactions (and some amusing situations involving their friends).
If you haven’t seen the film, or have dismissed it as just another cookie-cutter rom-com, I recommend giving it a chance if you’re in the market for a light, charming, funny comedy (Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, after all!). Or if you enjoyed Going the Distance and like me, are curious to see what projects director Nanette Burstein and writer Geoff LaTulippe have on the horizon, Burstein’s work can be seen in an episode of ABC’s upcoming new comedy Don’t Trust the B---- In Apartment 23 (she’s credited as directing the seventh ep of the season). Meanwhile, LaTulippe has just landed a directing job at Paramount.
Deadline reports that LaTulippe, who made a short video called “Yom Kippur at WME,” is set to write and direct an untitled comedy for Paramount. Apparently, it was the video (below) that caught the attention of Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman. LaTulippe made a pitch and the studio bought it and have him set to direct. Dawn Olmstead (The Experiment, Prison Break) and Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) will produce.
It’ll be very interesting to see what becomes of the project, which marks his first feature film directing job. In the meantime, here’s the “Yom Kippur at WME” video, which is funny and definitely worth a look...
?And because I’m obviously such a fan, here’s one of many amusing moments from Going the Distance.