Mainstream romantic comedies generally suck. I know, because I have seen a lot of them, and they make me want to poke my own eyes out. The ones geared towards female audiences are actually worse than the Judd Apatow man-child ilk in my opinion. Although both peddle stupid stereotypes like the Career Woman, the Desperate-for-Marriage Harpy, and, my favorite, The Ice Queen, at least the guys in Apatow movies are slightly more likeable in their fallibility than the romantic leads in The Bounty Hunter,The Ugly Truth,When in Rome, and other female-skewed flicks.
Going the Distance is an interesting hybrid, and it's one I really enjoyed. And I know I'm not alone; both men and women I've talked to have also liked it, although I suspect this has more to do with age and sensibilities than gender. If you are offended by jokes about trying to perform fellatio on yourself or dry-humping, or if you don't watch YouTube videos of animals being ridiculous, maybe you should take a pass on this film.
The story itself is not particularly new, but it's been updated for the 21st century. Last time I was in a long-distance relationship, we didn't have YouTube, much less any sneezing pandas to laugh at together late at night on our cell phones. I emailed him using PINE and dial-up. It was a nightmare. And texting? Let me dig up my old campus phone call bills for you.