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Review: Like Crazy

8
Posted March 10, 2012 by in Drama

Rating

Plot
65%


Acting
83%


Directing
80%


Cinematography
70%


Costume
60%


Musical Score
75%


Total Score
72%

72/ 100

What We Thought

Genre: ,
 
Director:
 
Actors: ,
 
MPAA:
 

What We Liked :

The acting of Felicity Jones
 

What We Disliked:

Run of the Mill storyline. Hard to care for the characters.
 
Bottom Line

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.

by Max
Full Article

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.

When they share the screen together, it seems as though they were truly made for each other.

The two of them hit it off pretty quickly and then they are inseparable. Anna decides to over-stay her student visa because she can’t stand to be away from Jacob for the summer. This proves costly because when she tries to go back to America, her visa has been blocked due to her infraction. Now, Jacob and Anna must deal with long distance and time to keep their love kindling.

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.

If this love was as special as Like Crazy would like us to believe then he would probably move.

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┬ácircumvent 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.

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About the Author

Max

Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.

8 Comments


  1.  

    The main problem I had with "Like Crazy" was, as you also seem to point out, the believability of the struggle. I think the problem of distance due to a Visa restriction, though modern and contemporary, feels a bit too small to really get me to care enough about whether or not they are willing to compromise and continue their love affair.

    Despite that, I felt the film did a very good job at showcasing a relationship that seemed genuine and real, stemming from the very personal camera work and the nuanced performances of the leads, especially from Felicity Jones, who was sadly overlooked during awards season.

    I think, all along, the story tells us, though very indirectly, that Jacob is a bit less "in love" than Anna, otherwise he would have just packed his bags and moved to England. I think that the director always remembers that these are two very young souls that despite being very much in love, can't seem to completely sacrifice for a higher cause and do away with their immaturity.

    I reviewed the film a few months ago. You can find it here:

    http://niels85.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/1-minute-




    •  
      Max

      I actually commented on that post when it went up saying I wanted to see Like Crazy. It took this long, but it finally happened. Felicity Jones was wonderful in this. My favorite scene was when she calls up Jacob and she can't breathe. It's a really well done look at a young woman completely in love. The film is a little rough around the edges, but I still enjoy it.




  2.  

    I was somewhat disappointed by this movie myself. As you pointed out, the narrative doesn't spend nearly enough time to make us care about the central romance. The movie as a whole feels too much like a music video (maybe why the trailer is more moving than the film itself) and there was just too many contrivances to make it truly compelling.




    •  
      Max

      I read your review and I agreed with a lot of what you said. You came off really harsh though. Sure, Like Crazy had a lot to live up to and it doesn't quite reach that grade, but there are some highlights to take away. The aforementioned photography and acting by the two principle characters.




  3.  

    I love Felicity, she has been good in everything I have seen her in. I keep meaning to stick this on but I am such a crier that I keep putting it off…

    Thanks for the great review Max




  4.  
    Amy

    I have to say Max, I love the new format you have for reviewing films. It looks really slick and is a pleasure to read. Brilliant!

    It didn't hit the cinemas where I live so I think I'll rent it some time. It didn't strike me as something I'd love, but definitely something I would like. Thanks Max.




    •  
      Max

      Thanks for the theme compliment.

      Like Crazy hit theaters here for three weeks at a random time last year. I'm glad I was able to see it on Blu-ray finally. It's worth checking out at least.





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