Like Crazy Directed by: Drake Doremus Cast: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence Running Time: Rating: PG-13 Release Date: November 11, 2011
PLOT: A British college student (Jones) falls in love with an American (Yelchin), but problems with her visa separate them and now they must try to figure out exactly what they have together.
WHO'S IT FOR? If you like your film romances with a realistic/authentic slant, that should be enough for you to enjoy this film.
EXPECTATIONS: I knew nothing about this film except Yelchin was in it. While that didn't have me sold, I have liked just about everything he's done.
This isn't what it felt like when I fell in love. Luckily, that is for me and my wife to hold on to. But Like Crazy does feel like love, specifically young love. It's always amazing when a film can hit you that way.
Anna (Jones) likes Jacob (Yelchin). She writes him a long-winded letter explaining as such. We don't get to read that letter, it's private. Except for the final, when Anna explains she's not a nutcase. Young love, perfectly captured. It's hard not to want to spend every minute with these two. Unfortunately that's what they do, and it ends up affecting her visa. Now, she's stuck in England, he's in America and they have to try and figure out what those months together meant and what it means for the future.
The physical distance between the two is so much more authentic and palatable compared to what other romances do. When Anna's voice cracks on the phone, when Jacob presents her with a personal gift, these feel like moments we are getting to witness from an actual couple. Sure, there's even a sweet montage during their courting stage. OK, I'm not old enough to use the word courting, but you get my drift.
The simplicity of the filming and the way these events are captured adds to the realism of the film. The perfect example of this is text messages. There aren't any stupid graphics that pop up on the screen or anything. It's just people looking at their phones. The music is fantastic as well with "Crazy Love, Vol. II" by Paul Simon popping up a couple of times and "Dead Hearts" by Stars finishing the film off. The comic relief comes in the form of Jackie (Alex Kingston) and Bernard (Oliver Muirhead). They are Anna's loving parents who accelerate or aid the relationship in directs you might not expect. The only obvious flaw I have is the same one I had with Going the Distance, which is ... Um, why can't you move again? When you see the film, you'll know who "you" is in this case.
The film has sat with me the way few romances do. Since I am married and in my 30s, I feel I have a perspective on love (notice I said "a" and not "the"). This relationship is cut off when they are addicted to each other the most. You have to wonder if that's the reason they keep coming back to each other. They have that version of idealized love stuck in their brain. The only obstacle they've ever seen with each other is the distance. Nothing else. With that distance both of them find other people and it's not just a gimmick or the passage of time. Romances typically make the third-wheel evil or give them serious flaws. That's not the case with Samantha (Jennifer Lawrence) or anyone else in the film. You feel their pain even as you root for Anna and Jacob to find there way back to each other. Beware that you might feel uneasy or questioning toward the end of the film. That's where your definition of love and relationships will come in to play. Like Crazy is not pure joy, but instead authentic love in a difficult situation. It's definitely worth seeing.
FINAL SCORE: 9/10