Going the Distance (2010 film)

Going the Distance is a 2010 American romantic comedy film directed by Nanette Burstein and written by Geoff LaTulippe. It stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long as a young couple, Erin and Garrett, who fall in love one summer in New York City and try to keep their long-distance relationship alive, when Erin heads home to San Francisco.

Going the Distance
Going the distance 2010 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNanette Burstein
Produced by
Written byGeoff LaTulippe
Music byMychael Danna
CinematographyEric Steelberg
Edited byPeter Teschner
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 27, 2010 (2010-08-27) (United Kingdom)
  • September 3, 2010 (2010-09-03)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$32 million[2]
Box office$42.1 million[2]


Erin Langford (Drew Barrymore) is 31 and still in grad school, recently hired as a summer intern at a New York newspaper. Out with a friend at a bar, she meets Garrett (Justin Long), who interrupts her game of Centipede. They drink together and end up at his place, where they smoke from a bong and have sex while Garrett's roommate Dan (Charlie Day) "DJs their hook up". The next morning, Erin is anxious to leave, but agrees to have breakfast with Garrett. She tells him she is only in New York for six weeks, and they agree to keep things casual.

Erin and Garrett begin a casual relationship, but soon develop feelings for each other, and Erin tries to convince her boss to find her a permanent position. Before the end of her internship, she writes a well-received article, and her boss asks her to contact him in January regarding possible job openings. Working at a record label, Garett is assigned to manage a band he dislikes, and begins to terribly resent his job.

When Erin’s six weeks are over, she and Garett find it difficult to let each other go. After driving Erin to the airport and saying goodbye, Garrett runs after her, admitting that he is crazy about her and wants to have a long-distance relationship, to which she agrees.

Over the following months, Erin and Garrett spend their free time trying to figure out when they can see each other. Garrett surprises Erin by showing up on Thanksgiving. After an emotional reunion, they go to Erin's sister Corrine's house, where Erin is staying, and start to have passionate sex on the dining table. Unbeknownst to them, Erin's brother-in-law Phil is having dinner, and Corrine walks in on the awkward scene. The next day, Erin and Garrett see The Boxer Rebellion perform, but Garrett is jealous that Erin is friends with Damon, a handsome bartender, and eventually has to return to New York.

In January, Erin calls her former boss, but learns they are not hiring. Unable to find comfort in a phone conversation with Garrett, Erin gets drunk with Damon and almost kisses him, but goes home. Her professor recommends her for a position at the San Francisco Chronicle and she goes for an interview. Garrett tries to have phone sex with Erin, but it ended up being awkward, leaving both feeling ridiculous.

A month later, Erin is packing to move to New York when she gets a call that the Chronicle has hired her. She goes to New York and tells Garrett, and they fight, but make up the next day. A week later, he calls to tell her he wants her to move to New York so they can live together and start fresh, and she agrees, first visiting San Francisco to sort things out. After a conversation with Corrine, Garrett realizes he should not be the reason Erin turns down the job, and they part ways after an emotional conversation and a long hug at the airport.

Six months later, Erin’s career is going well, having written her first front-page story. Garrett has not been with any woman since Erin, and quits his job to manage The Boxer Rebellion. He sends Erin tickets to their show and she goes, unaware he is the band’s manager. She runs into him, and he reveals he has moved to Los Angeles, only a few hours from San Francisco, and they seize another chance at a relationship. Late that night they go back to Corrine's house, and interrupt Corrine and Phil dry humping on the dining room table. The film ends as Erin's niece, Maya, enters during the awkward moment, and they all scream "Maya! Statue!" – a running joke where Corrine yells at her daughter to freeze.



  1. Generationals: "Either Way"
  2. Georgie James: "Places"
  3. Katie Herzig: "Hey Na Na"
  4. Albert Hammond Jr.: "In Transit"
  5. The Cure: "Just Like Heaven"
  6. The Pretenders: "Don't Get Me Wrong"
  7. The Boxer Rebellion: "Spitting Fire"
  8. Cat Power: "Could We"
  9. Band of Skulls: "Cold Fame"
  10. Eels: "Prizefighter"
  11. Passion Pit: "The Reeling" (Groove Police Remix)
  12. Fanfarlo: "Harold T. Wilkins, or How to Wait for a Very Long Time"
  13. The Replacements: "Here Comes a Regular"
  14. The Boxer Rebellion: "If You Run"
  15. Gotye: "Learnalilgivinanlovin"
  16. The Airborne Toxic Event: "Half of Something Else"

Three additional songs can be accessed through a link on the CD and on the digital deluxe version:

  1. The Boxer Rebellion – "Evacuate"
  2. Joe Purdy – "Miss Me"
  3. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – "40 Day Dream"


Initially, the film was to be released domestically on August 27, 2010, amid weak reviews, but Warner Bros. decided to push back the release date one week to September 3. This meant its opening weekend would coincide with the Labor Day weekend. Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution President, stated that "moving to the Labor Day weekend not only allows us to take advantage of the long holiday weekend, but gives us some distance from the other female-driven films releasing in August."[3] Eventually, Going the Distance′s earliest release was on September 2, 2010, in eight countries including Australia, Argentina and Germany, one day before its North American release.[4]

Box officeEdit

Going the Distance opened in 3,030 theaters in the United States and Canada on September 3, 2010, and grossed $6,884,964 in its opening weekend, ranking 5th at the box office behind The American, Machete, Takers and The Last Exorcism.[5] The film eventually grossed $17,804,299 in North America, ranking 120th domestically for 2010.[6] In foreign markets the film grossed $24,248,458, for a total worldwide box office of $42,052,757, which made it the 118th highest-grossing film of 2010.[7]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 54% based on 166 reviews, with an average rating of 5.75/10. The site's critical consensus states: "It's timelier and a little more honest than most romantic comedies, but Drew Barrymore and Justin Long's screen chemistry doesn't make up for Going the Distance's overall flatness and convoluted story."[8] On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[9] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[10]

USA Today′s Claudia Puig panned the writing, stating that "this premise, with better writing, could have made a much more compelling movie",[11] and Lou Lumenick of the New York Post wondered "exactly at what audience the filmmakers thought they were aiming".[12]

A. O. Scott of The New York Times said the film "acknowledges both the difficulty and the comic potential of the arrangement, and does so with enough insight and charm to make you wonder why frequent-flier love is not a more popular theme in romantic comedies",[13] while Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post described it as "filthy, funny and kind of sweet".[14] Tom Long of The Detroit News stated that the film's "constant raunch factor balances out its romantic center in a way that will likely surprise and please many",[15] and Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle that it "captures the harshness and the sweetness of our time".[16] Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer said "the film gets many things so right about the conflicts faced by a two-career couple looking for work in a shrinking economy",[17] and Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly that the film is "the rare romantic comedy in which you can actually believe what you're seeing".[18] Linda Barnard, film critic for Toronto Star, said that the film "is a reminder of the sorry state of the rom-com, where gross scenes and easy-to-write trash talk have replaced smart dialogue".[19] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune stated that "Geoff LaTulippe's story of a recession-era long-distance relationship and its hurdles takes its characters seriously", also praising Barrymore's performance,[20] for whom The Boston Globe's film critic Wesley Morris said that "is becoming a serious comedic actor".[21]

Justin Chang of Variety describes the film as "a bicoastal comedy with a bit of a bipolar disorder",[22] while Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter panned the film and screenwriting implying that it is a "romantic comedy [which is] going wrong in so many different ways".[23] Peter Travers, writing for Rolling Stone, concluded that "Barrymore and Long are both appealing, but not enough to sustain audience interest in the cinematic equivalent of dry-humping".[24]


  1. ^ "GOING THE DISTANCE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. July 5, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Going the Distance". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  3. ^ "Going the Distance Distancing Itself for Another Week". ReelzChannel. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  4. ^ "Going the Distance (2010) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  5. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for September 3–5, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  6. ^ "2010 Yearly Box Office Results - Domestic Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  7. ^ "2010 Yearly Box Office Results - Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  8. ^ "Going the Distance (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  9. ^ "Going the Distance reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  11. ^ Puig, Claudia (September 4, 2010). "'Going the Distance' doesn't go far enough for its witty cast". USA Today. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  12. ^ Lumenick, Lou (September 3, 2010). "'Going the Distance' not even remotely funny". New York Post. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  13. ^ Scott, A. O. (September 2, 2010). "Nothing Keeps Them Apart Except a Continent". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  14. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (September 3, 2010). "Critic review for Going the Distance". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  15. ^ Long, Tom (September 3, 2010). "Review: Lusty-crusty 'Going the Distance' pushes the rom-com envelope". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  16. ^ LaSalle, Mick (September 3, 2010). "Review: 'Going the Distance'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  17. ^ Rickey, Carrie (September 3, 2010). "Couple parted by miles in comedy good for smiles". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  18. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (September 7, 2010). "Going the Distance Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  19. ^ Barnard, Linda (September 2, 2010). "Going the Distance doesn't". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  20. ^ Phillips, Michael (September 2, 2010). "Drew Barrymore shines in raunchy 'Going the Distance'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  21. ^ Morris, Wesley (September 3, 2010). "Going the Distance movie review". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  22. ^ Chang, Justin (August 19, 2010). "Going the Distance". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  23. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (October 14, 2010). "Going the Distance -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  24. ^ Travers, Peter (September 3, 2010). "Going the Distance". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 23, 2013.

External linksEdit