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Movie ReviewsRating: 4 of 5 yaps

Like Crazy

My suspicion is that “Like Crazy” will drive some audience members batty. It certainly happened at the preview screening I attended, where a number of people seemed to be expecting some sort of bubblegum romantic comedy and (loudly) expressed their dissatisfaction with what they got.

This indie drama from director/co-writer Drake Doremus is closer in mood and tone to 2010’s “Blue Valentine” than the latest boy-meets-girl confection. It’s a tender love story, but weighted with a sense of tragedy and longing. Even during the headiest moments of whirlwind romance, the expectation of rocky waters ahead never fades.

Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones star as Jacob and Anna, two lovers separated by an ocean of circumstance. He’s American, she’s British, both about to graduate from a California university. She’s a budding journalist, while he wants to design and build his own furniture. The biggest gasp moment of their story comes not at some huge moment of emotional outpouring, but when he gives Anna a chair he hand-made for her.

Doremus and co-screenwriter Ben York Jones (who also plays a small part) are less interested in stepping in the footprints of previous films about relationships but mapping out the terrain of modern love among Millenials. The result is a movie filled with pregnant pauses and long silences, where a furtive expression or gesture provides a window into this self-conscious pair’s inner lives.

What is left unsaid often speaks louder than their stammering, halting exchanges of dialogue.

Anna is supposed to leave the States when her student visa expires but decides to overstay for the summer so the relationship can take root. Alas, when she travels back to London for a family wedding, she finds herself unable to return because of her violation. She and Jacob spend weeks, then months apart, trying to keep their affection alive through late-night phone calls and emails.

It makes for an interesting set-up for a long-distance relationship, though the depiction of U.S. immigration laws — which more resemble a leaky sieve than a tight net — is fanciful.

During their long separations, both Anna and Jacob find temptation on their respective shores. For her, it’s a kind neighbor who’s always dropping by (Charlie Bewley). In Jacob’s case, he tumbles into Sam (Jennifer Lawrence), an assistant at his workshop who seems willing to accept whatever scraps of Jacob’s affections are available when his devotion to Anna has waned.

“Like Crazy” has heft and authenticity, a telling portrait of modern relationships as they really are rather than how we would like them to be. It’s a slow, often sad tale that unfolds at its own pace so the audience (at least those with patience) feel like they’re experiencing reality transpire rather than being embraced by a movie.

4 Yaps

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5 Responses to “Like Crazy”

  1. Deanna Rushforth says:

    I am such a sucker for Drama/Romance movies. Thank you for all the reviews above. I look forward to seeing this one.

    Thanks.

  2. Autumne says:

    In my opinion, this was a very well-made, thoughtful film. Sure, it shows the ups and downs of relationships but that is reality. It depicts how hard relaionships can be but with these two the love never faded. The couple was so sweet and endearing – perfect casting of the main roles. Very good review and deserving of the 4 Yaps!

  3. Megan M says:

    I had mixed feelings on this movie – parts of it were good, but ultimately just too much of a downer. I don’t always expect a happy ending, but this just overall left you feeling depressed.

  4. Shawn says:

    I agree with the previous comment. I like the movie and thought it was well made, but definitely didn’t like the ending. It ended so abruptly that everyone in the theater was waiting for another scene. The story idea was good, just didn’t go in a direction that took us to an ending that made sense, but maybe that was the whole point. I just didn’t get it.

  5. Becky Meredith says:

    I was disappointed in this movie. At first you are hoping everything works out for the young lovebirds, and feel sorry for them for all the problems they are having trying to maintain a relationship.

    Then, they end up with mates that are better suited for the two of them, and seemed like they were on their way to happiness.

    You end up feeling sorry for the two people who fell in love with them. Especially the girlfriend of Jacob who he blew off not only once but a second time and neither of these two, Anna nor Jacob ended up happy. Sad ending!