Like Crazy (2011)

Like Crazy (2011)

 

Director: Drake Doremus

What to Expect: Mature meditations on love, mild sexuality, brief strong language

Summary: British student, Anna (Felicity Jones), and American student, Jacob (Anton Yelchin), meet and fall in love during their last year of college.  When the summer comes, the two decide to spend the months together, but after overstaying her visa Anna is deported and they must learn to deal with the challenges of a long distance relationship.

Review: Like Crazy is emotionally taxing, especially to any of those who may know all too well what’s it like to have loved and lost.  At certain points, the film will bring tears to your eyes with its moments of pure and genuine intimacy while its subsequent stretches of unavoidable heartache and futility will send those tears rolling down your cheeks.  Part of this is due to the palpable on-screen chemistry of Yelchin and Jones, who improvised the vast majority of the film’s dialogue, but even the finest performances would go to waste if Doremus didn’t take a realistic look at the collateral damage inherent in a relationship struggling to stay alive across thousands of miles.

A cynic would look at Like Crazy and say that it’s pessimistic about relationships, but I find that opinion shortsighted.  What Like Crazy actually does is recognize that love carries a tremendous gravity with it and that a relationship that blooms under the wrong circumstances can have long lasting effects on the people involved.   Along the way, it dissects love into its two components – the feeling and the act – and asks, without handing the viewers any answers, what happens when you have one without the other?

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