Going the Distance

Capsule review from Nick at Nite

Going the Distance

My wife dragged me to this movie. I mean dragged. I thought it would be terrible. Seriously, the guy from the Mac commercial and Drew Barrymore. To my surprise, it was quite good. Crass enough to keep my interest. Romantic enough to appease the spouse.

I give it an A.

Music and Lyrics

DVD review from The Movie Snob

Music and Lyrics (C+). This is a perfectly adequate little romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant (About a Boy) and Drew Barrymore (Whip It). Hugh plays a washed up 80’s pop star who supports himself by performing in tiny venues for middle-aged women. But his box office is falling off, and he gets a desperately needed shot at rejuvenating his career when a Britny-esque starlet called Cora (Haley Bennett, Marley & Me) invites him to write a song for her. Hugh only writes music, so he needs a lyricist. No sooner can you say “deus ex machina” than it turns out the gal who’s watering the plants in his apartment (played by Drew) is a born lyricist. So they have to spend a lot of time together writing the song, and things go in typical romantic-comedy fashion. Of course, it’s kind of icky since Hugh is 15 years older than Drew is, but whatever.

Whip It

From the desk of The Movie Snob

Whip It (B). Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut stars current It Girl Ellen Page (X Men: The Last Stand) as Bliss Cavendar, a misfit high schooler not unlike the title character in Juno. Bliss is stuck in the tiny Texas town of Bodeen, her mom insists that she compete in local beauty pageants, and she is just generally depressed with her lot in life . . . until she discovers roller derby. Before you can say “elbow pads,” little Bliss has survived open tryouts and joined the Hurl Scouts, a team in the Austin roller derby league. It strains credibility how quickly Bliss makes the transition from Barbie skates to league stardom, and how hard she falls for a homely, grungy singer in a two-bit rock band. But I can’t deny that I enjoyed watching the last-place Hurl Scouts claw their way up the standings for a climactic Bad News Bears style battle with the reigning Holy Rollers. And who didn’t get a little misty-eyed when Bliss’s disappointed mama nevertheless shows up to watch the big game? Well, I didn’t, but I bet a lot of people did.