Like Crazy (2011)
Warning: What lies ahead is the most personal, incoherent, ambiguous review I’ve ever written. Proceed with caution.
That inexplicable venom that swirls around in your head when you’re sleeping. It fills your gut with air until it rises into your throat, suffocating your chest cavity. Those tiny pricks that feel like sparks tingling your extremities. This is love, and it’s what Like Crazy desperately tried to create and at times, succeeded. Maybe I’ve been shell-shocked and most likely, I’m not too bitter. But Like Crazy’s authenticity is never in question and for such a universally recognized and understood force, as love is, nothing can even remotely seem falsified. Starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, two youthful and capable leads. Written and Directed by Drake Doremus and featuring an amazing supporting performance from Jennifer Lawrence. Like Crazy shows the foundation and the setbacks in building a fortified relationship.
Anna (Jones) is studying at a college in Los Angeles. Originally from Britain, Anna meets Jacob (Yelchin) in one of her classes overseas. The two hit it off on their first date and fall in love. When they graduate, Anna decides to violate her visa and remain in Los Angeles with Jacob for a little while longer. Later when Anna travels home to London, she is denied a return flight back to the United States because she overstayed the allotted time given by her visa. After Jacob ventures to Britain for a short period of time, he must return to his business in America. The two decide to part ways as it is impossible to continue their relationship with the massive distance between them. When Jacob returns, he begins a love affair with a coworker named Samantha (Lawrence). As time passes, they realize they cannot be away from one another. Trying to devise a way for Anna return to the United States permanently, Jacob and Anna soon realize their problems are just beginning.
I’m not going to lie. Yes, at times it tore me apart and yes it gave me misty eyes. I’ve probably fallen for Felicity Jones just from watching it. It isn’t so much the love I’m calling into question because it is very apparent Yelchin and Jones conducted chemistry. The issue I find with Like Crazy, is it’s very much a young love driven film and for some, that can alienate. Don’t get me wrong, Like Crazy is miles ahead of the seemingly weekly releases of Nicolas Sparks adapted pictures. Yet, the ending and ambiguity of the film in its entirety is enough to make you want to rip out your heart and never use it again. If you end up watching Like Crazy and feel nothing, there is something wrong with you, not the film. The heart of Like Crazy is something we all wish we had and it destroys us to confront, arguably the reason we were put on the planet.
If I’m to be honest, I’m going crazy writing this review because I am sitting on a fence, debating if I hated it or loved it and I can’t come to a conclusion. I don’t like to burn bridges and if I jump too hastily, I could be condemning a film I’d grow to appreciate. This is getting too personal but I’m starting to lean to the positive side. I don’t think I’ve ever been so morose after watching a romance film. For all the right reasons, Like Crazy is difficult to watch, I mean it really hits home. Forgive me if I am too personal, preachy, or disconcerting in my review. Like Crazy is a very personal film and it is hard to separate oneself from it.
The acting is superb. It is very difficult to force or fake such a deep emotion and Yelchin and Jones do nothing of the sorts. The majority of their brilliance stems from their slight facial expressions, eye movements, and silence. Which, much the same as reality, are important tactics when conveying an emotion, especially one as complex as love. Jennifer Lawrence, in a sparse amount of screen time, manages to steal every minute she’s visible.
I don’t really know what else to say about Like Crazy. The story is fairly straightforward, the acting is terrific, and it aches to watch it. Which, I guess is essential to romance films. All cards on the table, this is one of the more favourable romance films I’ve seen.
Like Crazy: 7.5 out of 10.