Like Crazy follows a madly in love couple, detailing their turbulent relationship with one another from its heated beginning when Anna (Felicity Jones), a young and ambitious British college student studying abroad falls for her classmate Jacob (Anton Yelchin), beginning a very passionate all-consuming relationship. They’re young and in love, without a care in the world. Until Anna, breaking the terms of her student visa is sent back to England indefinitely. It’s a heartbreaking story that shares the painful and frustrating hardships of a long distance relationship. Inviting us in to the very private, most intimate, emotional, and unbearable moments as Anna and Jacob try to make it work.
It’s a low-budget film, raw and un-glamorised, creating a conceivable sense of real and relatable-ness. The casting is pretty spot on with Yelchin and Jones who have such a playful chemistry and palpable desire for one other. And it helps they are both such attainable, average, believable, and easily relatable people instead of the typical Hollywood, unrealistic ideas of perfection. It is easy to imagine yourself in their position.
Like Crazy takes place in both Los Angeles and London, giving off two very different atmospheres and impressions; creating two totally different worlds that evoke a sense of incredible distance between Anna and Jacob. They seem worlds apart, only when they’re together do we lose that very distinct sense of place. Their worlds merge into one. It sounds cheesy but stay with me.
It’s beautifully shot, very simple but effective in enhancing the significant moments of loneliness and uncertainty, also highlighting, and heightening those beautiful, blissful scenes between the two lovers. You fall for these two very charming character and want it desperately to work out for them. But there’s a constant feeling of doubt, with every break through there’s a new roadblock, revealing a very jarring stop/start relationship. The film spans roughly three years, skipping through large spans of time to focus on the significant moments. And this may be the films only flaw, loosing its intensity as you struggle to fill in the emotional gaps we miss in their life. But this is only a glimpse, a cursory glance at those monumental times in a couple’s relationship. And at the end the fate of their relationship still hangs in the balance. Though they have both matured and grown, in themselves and their relationship we are no more sure of what will happen when the credits role as when the film started. Personally I love films that leave us with unanswered questions. It’s thought provoking; instead of spoon-feeding every ounce of detail to the audience we are left to figure things out for ourselves. For some that may be annoying or disappointing but for me it was the perfect ending.
Honestly I can’t say much about the music because I don’t remember it. So either there wasn’t any or it just wasn’t memorable enough to take note. However there is a beautiful cover of “Fools Rush In” by Ingrid Michaelson and a track by Stars called “Dead Hearts” at the end of the film, both reflective and beautiful and most of all memorable. It’s the perfect close to a film that tugs so strongly on your heart-strings.
Like Crazy is the perfect example of ”we want what we can’t have”. And when it’s there, after all the effort to get it, you find it’s not what you imagined. When you wait so long for it sometimes you change so much in the process that you’re no longer that person who wanted those things in the first place. But for that time in the middle it’s passionate, exciting, fun, and means more than anything. That’s exactly what Like Crazy is.
If you’re in a long distance relationship then this probably isn’t the happiest film for you. And I advise against going to see it. Otherwise I highly recommend it. It won’t be for everyone and at times I found it a little cheesy –and I enjoy a good bit of cheese-but otherwise it’s a beautifully emotive and enjoyable film, even funny at times. However, it’s probably best it had a January release and not closer to Valentines as it’s not the most uplifting of films. So take a hanky or a cardigan you don’t mind giving a snotty sleeve.