American Teen's Nanette Burstein Directing Going the Distance
by Alex Billington
November 11, 2008
One of the many films that will soon be showing up on my annual list of the best movies no one saw this year is American Teen, a documentary that audiences fell in love with at Sundance. It was directed by Nanette Burstein, a documentarian who was nominated for an Oscar back in 1999 for On the Ropes. EW announced today that she was just hired for her first feature film called Going the Distance, a romantic comedy about the struggles of a long distance relationship. The script was written by newcomer Geoff LaTulippe, a former New Line script reader who sold the project to New Line without representation.
LaTulippe first came up with the idea with his good friend Dave Neustadter, an exec at New Line as well, after a night of heavy drinking. "The essential story is that the couple knows that the long-distance relationship is probably a bad idea but they like each other too much to stop," LaTulippe explains. One of the lovers lives in Chicago, and the other in Los Angeles. LaTulippe spoke previously about the idea, and added that "I think all of the best comedy comes from real life, from those situations where you go, 'I couldn't have made that up if I tried.' So I stopped trying." Sounds like a very solid idea.
What I love about this news is that it's very inspirational for up-and-coming filmmakers. Not only did Nanette Burstein finally hit it big after making two beloved Sundance documentaries, but writer Geoff LaTulippe also hit it big without following the typical Hollywood path. With that being said, from what I've heard so far, I've got a feeling this is going to be a truly authentic romantic comedy that really touches on the real humanity of these two lovers, since that's what Burstein is great at and that's exactly what LaTulippe mentioned was his inspiration. Can't wait to find out more.