Nanette Burstein‘s Going The Distance, a long-distance relationship dramedy with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, has reportedly been pushed back from 8.27 to 9.3, presumably because it was tracking in the toilet. Obviously a last-minute decision with the print ads (like this one, snapped last night near Houston Street) showing the 8.27 date. But that’s not the only issue.

Why is it that Barrymore doesn’t quite look like herself in the ad? (Her nose seems larger and her chin seems to jut out more — she looks more like a sister or cousin of herself.) And why is her hair on the sandy-brownish side when she’s unambiguously blonde in the film? And why does the young guy in the poster look like a hard-to-identify 22 year-old kid rather than the 32 year-old Long? They look fine together in the trailer, but the poster suggests an age disparity. (Barrymore is 35 — born in February ’75.) Why do that?

Why would the Warner Bros. marketing department create a poster that basically says “come see a nondescript uptempo relationship movie starring a woman who almost looks like Drew Barrymore and some younger guy you don’t quite recognize”?

Burstein was the director-producer of American Teen (’08), the Paramount-distributed doc that some suspected was partly staged. “For me, [it’s] too much of a hybrid to be called a ‘documentary,'” I wrote on 7.21.08. “It’s remarkably tight and clean and well-shaped. Almost too much so, it seems. Some of the dramatic ‘scenes’ unfold so concisely and with such emotional clarity that it almost feels scripted. As if every so often Burstein had told the kids, ‘Cut! That was good…but once more with feeling.’ That never happened, everyone says. Teen was just heavily covered and edited. 1,200 hours of footage were cut into a 100-minute film. But still…”

Going The Distance seems like a fairly mild thing in the trailer, but it’s been rated R “for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity.”