August 18, 2010

Friends and Family Complicate GOING THE DISTANCE

Throughout the romantic comedy “Going the Distance,” both long-distance lovers Erin (Drew Barrymore) and Garrett (Justin Long) have the support—and skepticism—of friends and, in Erin’s case, family. Playing the lovers’ alternately annoying and earnest “support system” are Christina Applegate (“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”), Jason Sudeikis (“What Happens in Vegas”) and Charlie Day (“Reno 911”).

Applegate plays Corinne, Erin’s overprotective sister who is less than thrilled with her little sister’s romantic choices, both past and present.

Applegate infused her character with a backstory in which “it had really just been the two of them for many years; I thought perhaps Corinne had kind of raised Erin,” the actress speculates. “Therefore, she’s very controlling of her world as well as her sister, but at the same time she has her own moments where she’s a little naughty.”

“Christina and Drew were great,” director Nanette Burstein declares. “Even though this was their first time working together, they absolutely felt like real sisters to me.”

Barrymore agrees. “I loved working with Christina,” she says. “She was totally inspiring and made me laugh all the time.”

On the opposite coast, Garrett is frequently flanked by best friends Box and Dan, who like Erin but aren’t sure they like Garrett when he’s with her—or, more specifically, once she’s left—and the constant texting and phone calls become a major distraction for him.

Box, who works at the record label with Garrett, is played by Jason Sudeikis. “Box is Garrett’s cutting, know-it-all best friend,” Sudeikis remarks. “Thanks to all the technology that makes it possible to date someone who is miles away, Box is a little frustrated by the fact that his friend isn’t really present, even though he’s right in front of him.”

Charlie Day is Dan, Garrett’s roommate and earnest but dimwitted friend, who tries to further Garrett’s romance by taking advantage of the fact that the walls in their apartment are paper thin. Day explains, “Dan often listens to whatever’s going on in Garrett’s room, and either comments through the wall or plays music that he feels suits the occasion. He’s not only his best friend, he’s his life DJ.”

“Jason portrayed Box with great acerbic wit, and Charlie was all sweetness as Dan, so the way they played off each other was really funny,” producer Jennifer Gibgot says. “The trio of guys felt very genuine. They had fun and truly connected with one another and I think that comes through in the movie.”

“We really had a tremendous cast,” Burstein commends. “They were even funnier than I could have ever imagined. Being a first-time feature director, I felt extremely lucky.”

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.

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