Emerging as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors today, Justin Long (He’s Just Not That Into You) figures in a long-distance love affair with Drew Barrymore in New Line Cinema’s rowdy romantic comedy Going the Distance.
In the film, when Erin (Barrymore) and Garrett (Long) hook up, their intentions are to have a few fun and frisky weeks before she heads back to grad school in San Francisco and he stays in New York City. But when Erin’s about to board a plane for home, they both realize they have developed deeper feelings for one another, and they don’t want whatever it is they have together to end. So, they decide to give the “long distance thing” a go.
“I’d been reading a lot of romantic comedies,” Long recalls, “and this one really stood out for me in the sense that it was much more raw and realistic, and very funny, too. It didn’t hold back at all.”
Described by producer Adam Shankman as “a kind of ‘every man’ who guys can relate to and girls really like,” Long plays Garrett, an A&R scout who’s passionate about cool, indie music, but who’s being forced to handle much more commercial bands at the label where he works. He’s also something of a self-saboteur when it comes to serious relationships.
“Garrett’s kind of stuck in a rut, both professionally and personally,” Long asserts. “He’s a low-level executive trying to gain a foothold in an industry that, in his opinion, has kind of sold out. And he’s just been dumped by a girl he’s been seeing for a few months because, once again, he couldn’t go to the next level. Then he meets this girl, this crazy, pixie-ish, slightly badass girl who is cute and makes him laugh, and he’s very intrigued—and, spoiler alert: they get together.”
“To me, both Erin and Garrett are really honest, flawed characters,” Shankman observes. “Garrett behaves pretty badly at times, Erin behaves pretty badly at other times, and they both behave selfishly. But even though life is giving them an ‘out,’ they’re honestly trying to make a go of it before they decide if it’s too big of a commitment. And while humor infuses almost everything, the emotional scenes with Justin and Drew really anchor the film.”
Like many real couples facing time apart, the characters in Going the Distance try to maintain both the humor and the emotion that flows freely when they’re together.
Justin Long says that’s “part of the appeal for me, and I hope for audiences, is that the movie doesn’t hold back at all, just like relationships, just like life.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, Going the Distance is a New Line Cinema production, and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.