Coming in midway between “Up in the Air” and “Failure to Launch,” this comedy about a long-distance romance neither soars nor crashes and burns. Instead it just coasts along amiably, the charm of its leads making up somewhat for an uninspired script, pedestrian direction by Nanette Burstein (making the jump from documentaries) and a promising secondary cast that’s poorly used—not great and not terrible, just mediocre.

The couple at the center of “Going the Distance” are ever-darling Drew Barrymore as Erin, a summer intern at the imaginary New York Sentinel, and sheepishly sweet Justin Long as Garrett, an unhappy worker at a grubby Big Apple music company. (You know it’s grubby because Ron Livingston plays his boss.) They meet cute over a bar arcade game called Centipede (she’s the high scorer) just after Garrett’s girlfriend has dumped him, and hit it off. But after a mere six weeks they must break up when she has to leave to finish her studies at Stanford.

Of course, if that were all there is, there’d be no movie. So at the last minute Garrett rushes into the airport to catch Erin before her departure and professes his love, hoping that on-line connections and an occasional cross-country trip will suffice until she can earn her degree and secure a permanent job in New York. Needless to say, those intermittent contacts don’t prove to be enough, and the situation is complicated even more when Erin’s offered a position at the San Francisco Chronicle it would be madness for her to turn down. It looks as though the duo is doomed to be apart. But of course no American romcom can end like that, so a solution is found, though it seems a rather halfhearted one.

Throughout Erin and Garrett’s on-again, off-again relationship, Barrymore and Long make a pleasant pair, even when they have to take on embarrassing material alone (Long at a tanning studio, Barrymore in an ill-conceived drunk scene) or together (a supposedly madcap session atop a dining room table). Still, they make an agreeable couple.

Unfortunately, they’re surrounded by secondary characters who are more irritating than funny. Garrett’s inevitably raunchy pals—Dan (Charlie Day) and Box (Jason Sudeikis) are straight out of the Judd Apatow playbook, providing gross-out commentary to the action, while Erin lives in California with her sister Corinne and her brother-in-law, as well as their daughter. And though Corinne is played by Christina Applegate, who’s shown herself a talented comedienne, the character is such a hard-nosed, tightly-wound woman that the actress can’t make her much more than tolerable. (Jim Gaffigan, however, does get some laughs as her put-upon spouse.) Even Rob Riggle and Kristen Schaal are wasted in witless bits.

“Going the Distance” isn’t a great-looking movie—even the opening credits look kind of cheesy, and the animated maps that are periodically inserted to show the couple’s cross-country treks have a homely feel—but as shot by Eric Steelberg it’s visually okay.

And that’s the adjective that applies to the entire picture. Travelling along with this amiable young couple is a mildly enjoyable trip, but the friends who tag along with them can be a trying bunch.