Talk about a total downer. I want to punch something.
I just came back home from seeing Going The Distance, the “romantic” “comedy” about the trials and tribulations of long distance relationships, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. Awww! It’s cute cuz they’re DATING IN REAL LIFE! Gag me. Rather, to quote a line Miss Barrymore says more than once in this movie, “Suck my dick.”
I love Drew Barrymore. I have loved her since I was in fifth grade. I think she’s adorable and talented, and yeah, she was adorable and talented when she made this movie, too. “I’m a Mac” wasn’t bad, either. He, too, is adorable and, as far as I can see, somewhat talented as well. The two of them work very well together on screen, and whenever they kissed or laughed or told each other, “I love you,” I really did believe them. What I couldn’t believe was the fact that all of their friends were such total fucking morons. Justin Long’s friends, his only friends, are two Dudes who say really stupid, unfunny shit. They were trying to achieve the “realistic” dialogue portrayed in intelligent films such as Knocked Up, where the ridiculous conversations between Seth Rogen, Jason Seagull (ha), Jonah Hill, and the Other Two Guys were like totally realistic stuff that guys would like totally say! The Dude Dialogue in this movie was painfully forced. The movie could have had “realistic” dialogue and still not involved a superfluous, HACKNEYED, “You suck your own dick?” scene. I don’t care how vulgar young men can be — I don’t believe that even a stupid guy would put his arm around an old woman to help her across the street, meanwhile talking to her about his roommates’ masturbation techniques. Like OMG! Guys just don’t give a FUCK! It’s SO TRUE!” To this I say, again, “Suck my Dick.”
Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore doesn’t seem to have any friends. Well, she does, but we only really meet two of them, and they each get about two minutes of screen time. Instead, we get to hear Drew yack about dry humping and cunnilingus with her sister, played by Christina Applegate. Whatever. The sister character is married to a fat, unhappy guy, and her daughter is possessed by some devil. The two sisters are such different people! It’s sooooo interesting! Kill me. Drew! Don’t end up like Christina Applegate! Take your time being a party girl and go ahead and date Justin Long from a distance! Be unconventional and HAPPY! Why, God?
I am not the cynical fucking person many people think I am. I did not go to the cinema tonight thinking, “Well THIS is gonna SUCK.” In reality, I actually wanted to see this damn movie. As I said before, I like both lead actors, and furthermore, I’m actually really hoping that one of these days there will be a romantic comedy that is actually romantic as well as genuinely comedic. Alas, Going the Distance is just as bad as all the other shitty RomComs that Hollywood manages to churn out year after year. It just stars better people.
What makes a movie funny? I don’t know. Definitely not a scene involving an open-door bathroom policy. I also don’t prefer Hitler jokes, but hey, I’m just an overly sensitive Santa Cruz liberal who needs to chill the fuck out, right? Gas chambers are hilarious. I’m missin’ out on all the yucks. “Suck my dick.”
The real question is What makes a movie romantic? Again, definitely not a fucking montage of two people frolicking (yes, FROLICKING) on the beach to The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” I want to care about the characters. I want to really want them to be together. I know I’m supposed to care because I’m just supposed to, but for some reason I didn’t really give a shit that Drew and Justin missed each other. They were in a long distance relationship. Those happen, ya know. And they’re difficult to maintain. And yeah, there were scenes here and there of Drew and Justin texting each other and missing each others’ calls and all that stuff, but at no point did I really feel their frustration. Whenever they would visit each other and desperately make out, I totally believed their passion…but still. This movie was about a long distance relationship. I wanted to see the distance. There were hardly any tears. There was only one argument. There were no nights of waiting by the phone. They seemed completely content to spend Christmas morning Skyping with each other. That ain’t right.
I recently re-watched the movie 500 Days of Summer. This movie is never going to end up in my Top 50 Favorite Movies, but damn, I really enjoyed it both times I saw it. Why’d I like this particular Boy Meets Girl flick? Because I felt every single second of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s heartbreak. From the moment Zoeey Deschanel first says that she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with him, I am in that guy’s corner 100%. You don’t even have to have had that exact experience to identify with the character. Everyone has had the experience of having a crush on a person who didn’t feel the same way, and it’s brutal. Absolutely fucking brutal, and ya wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy. Therefore, the second you see that things are going to end rather horribly for good ol’ Joey, you become his best friend.
I wanted that from Going the Distance. I, myself, have been in several long distance relationships, and yes, that is why I saw the damn movie. I assumed that because I have experienced the pain and confusion of wanting to be with somebody who is hundreds of miles away that this movie would tug at my heartstrings in ways that other lame-o RomComs haven’t. It did no such thing. Instead of identifying with the characters, I was constantly annoyed. I kept thinking, “What the fuck are you whining about?” Their OH SO IMPOSSIBLE LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP was a fucking walk in the park. They were perfect for each other from beginning to end. Their ONLY problem was that they lived far away from each other. Neither of them ever questioned if they were doing the right thing by remaining loyal to someone so far away. There was never any mention of, “Hmm. This girl’s 31 years old and she goes out and gets completely hammered every single time something goes wrong.”
For me, the most painful part about long distance relationships is when you start getting the feeling of, “I’ve worked so hard and sacrificed to much to be with this person who I don’t even get to spend ANY time with, and now I wonder if I’ve been wasting my damn life.” There was none of that in this shitty movie. We know they missed each other because they kept saying, “I miss you.” I heard it, but I didn’t see it. Definitely didn’t see it. Nor did I feel it. I couldn’t ignore that there was a ton of bad shit that wasn’t happening in their relationship, and, therefore, I was in my own head the entire time thinking about my own failed fucking relationships. I wasn’t romanced. I didn’t laugh. I got depressed.
That’s why I go to the movies. To Escape.
They stay together, by the way. “Suck my dick.”