Review: Like Crazy
What We ThoughtGenre: Drama, Romance
What We Liked :The acting of Felicity Jones
What We Disliked:Run of the Mill storyline. Hard to care for the characters.
The commitment of the pair, in Like Crazy, consistently comes into discussion even when it would’ve been possible for them to live happily together.
Anna: I thought I understood it. But I didn’t. I knew the smudgeness of it. The eagerness of it. The Idea of it. Of you and me.
Anna (Felicity Jones) is a journalism student studying abroad in Los Angeles when the attention of Jacob (Anton Yelchin, The Beaver), who designs and makes furniture, catches her eye.
Like Crazy doesn’t spend enough time convincing us that the romance rings true. There’s a short five-minute segment that is supposed to capture their passionate young love, but it isn’t enough to make us care about the outcome. If anything it’s thanks to the chemistry between Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin that keeps the movie together. When they share the screen together, it seems as though they were truly made for each other.
Of course this distance and time are going to be tough for the pair.
The starting and stopping again as Anna puts it, wears both of them out. They decide to keep in touch, but to start seeing other people. The problem comes that Anna can’t breathe when she thinks of the magical times the two of them have shared. She’s afraid she’ll never have those feelings for anyone again. Jacob makes things more difficult than they need to be. He has started his own studio in LA and refuses to move out to Europe to be with Anna. If this love was as special as Like Crazy would like us to believe then he would probably move.
Like Crazy is more concerned with the difficulty of long-distance romance. The couple tries multiple attempts to circumvent the restrictions of the Visa, but are blocked at every pass. There are points where it seems that there is no more wood for the fire. Jacob has a love affair with one of his assistants (Jennifer Lawrence). Lawrence is extremely underused considering her talent, but then again the film isn’t really about her. She has trouble penetrating the wall Jacob has put around his heart because the hope of reconciliation with Anna lingers at every moment.
Being the critical darling at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Like Crazy had a lot to live up to. While it may not succeed entirely as a great film, the techniques used in the film are an ode to this generations indie filmmakers. Two different scenes in the movie use time-lapse photography and the film was mostly shot using HDSLR’s. Director Drake Doremus shot his 250,000$ film with a 1,500$ camera. Of course then lenses he used were far more expensive, but the fact that he used a Canon 7D to shoot Like Crazy remains.
Can romance survive time and long-distance? Like Crazy aims to answer these questions and it may not be the happy ending everyone was hoping for. What we’re left with is a well-acted film, featuring a breakthrough performance from Felicity Jones and the dreams of Indie filmmakers every where being ignited. It’s incredible what little was used to make Like Crazy the film it is. It’s just unfortunate that the setup was lacking and the commitment of the pair consistently comes into discussion even when it would’ve been possible for them to live happily together.