National Lampoon's Going the Distance—MGM/UA
A recent high-school graduate grabs two of his buddies and embarks on a road trip from Vancouver to Toronto to surprise his girlfriend with a marriage proposal. Along the way, they meet a crackpot farmer, a weird dude who's been hired to stop the question-popping, and two hottie hitchhikers in Going the Distance. Think of it as a Canadian American Pie. There's a Stifler in a cowboy hat named Tyler, the lovelorn Jason Biggs-type Nick, and the other guy. This story goes exactly where you think it will, and, even so, I can sum it up in two words: guilty pleasure.
The Canadian countryside is on display in fabulous wide shots from cinematographer Gregory Middleton, which the 1.78:1 anamorphic picture serves well. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is standard, but there are no extras except for a brief gag reel before the closing credits.
There are some really amusing moments with some quality performances, as well as a few genuinely warm scenes. It's as absolutely predictable as you might imagine from beginning to end, and, surprisingly, it's not bad. Both the guys and girls are immensely likable and mean no harm whatsoever, which won me over. Oh, and there is no "pie" scene per se, but there's an ode to it in an "I can't believe I just saw that, but I'm laughing anyway" gross-out moment with guest star Jason Priestley. Shakespeare it ain't, but, of course, it's not supposed to be. For what it is, whether you buy or rent it, it's much better than expected.