Apr 012020
 

Going The Distance

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PLOTErin 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.
2010Personal Rating70Rotten Critics54Rotten Audience52IMDb Rating63Combined Rating59.8

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Jun 032018
 

Lars And The Real Girl

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PLOTLars Lindstrom lives a secluded life in a small Wisconsin town. It is gradually revealed that his mother died when he was born, causing his grief-stricken father to be a distant parent to Lars and his older brother, Gus. Gus left town as soon as he could support himself, returning only to inherit his half of the household when their father died.

The inheritance has been divided between the brothers: Lars lives in the converted garage; Gus and his pregnant wife Karin live in the house proper. Karin's attempts to invite Lars into the house for a family meal are usually unsuccessful; when he does come, conversation is difficult and he doesn't stay long. He avoids social contact, finding it difficult to interact with his family, co-workers, or members of his church. A co-worker, Margo, is interested in him, but he avoids anything more than brief encounters.

One day a large package arrives; that evening Lars tells Gus and Karin that he has a visitor whom he met via the Internet, a wheelchair-mobile missionary of Brazilian and Danish descent named Bianca. They discover that Bianca is a lifelike doll which Lars apparently ordered from an adult website. Concerned about his mental health, they convince Lars to take Bianca for a checkup to the family doctor, Dagmar, who is also a psychologist. Dagmar diagnoses Bianca with low blood pressure and advises Lars to bring her in for weekly treatments. Her aim is to have regular contact with Lars, hoping to get to the root of his behavior. She explains to Gus and Karin that his delusion is a manifestation of an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. She urges them to assist with his therapy by treating Bianca as a real person.

Lars begins to introduce Bianca as his girlfriend to the townspeople. Due to their concern for Lars, everyone treats Bianca as a real person. Lars soon finds himself interacting more with people. During this time, Margo has begun to date another co-worker, which silently bothers Lars.

Lars asks his brother when he knew he had become a man and what being a man means. Gus says he knew it when he began doing the right things for the right reasons, even when it hurt. Gus gives several examples, including their father keeping them and taking care of them, even though he didn't know how. Gus says that he never should have left Lars alone with their father, and he apologizes for being selfish. Their conversation seems to reach Lars and his dependence on Bianca immediately seems to shift.

When a co-worker with whom Margo has been playing pranks goes a bit too far, Lars comforts her. During the ensuing conversation, Margo reveals she has broken up with her boyfriend. She invites Lars to go bowling, which he initially declines before reconsidering. The two spend a pleasant evening together along with some other townsfolk. Lars is quick to remind Margo he could never cheat on Bianca. Although obviously disappointed, Margo replies that the thought never crossed her mind. As they part, Lars takes his glove off to shake Margo's hand – a significant advance in his ability to interact with others; he earlier explained to the doctor that others' touch felt like "burning".

One morning soon after, Lars announces that Bianca is unresponsive, and an ambulance rushes her to the hospital. Once there, he tells his family that her prognosis is not good and that Bianca would like to be brought home. The news spreads through town, and everyone whose life has been touched by Bianca sends flowers or sits with Lars at the Lindstrom home. Gus and Karin ask Dagmar why this is happening, and she reveals that it indicates a significant shift for Lars. They suggest that Lars and Bianca join them for a visit to the lake. While the couple is hiking, Lars gives Bianca a very sad farewell kiss. As Gus and Karin make their way back from the hike, they discover despondent Lars in the lake with a 'dying' Bianca.

Bianca is given a full-fledged funeral that is well-attended by the townspeople. After Bianca is buried in the local cemetery, Lars and Margo linger at the grave site. When Margo states that she should catch up with everyone else, Lars asks her to take a walk with him instead, to which she happily agrees.
2007Personal Rating40Rotten Critics81Rotten Audience84IMDb Rating73Combined Rating69.5

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