Starring: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by: Drake Doremus (“Douchebag”)
Written by: Drake Doremus (“Douchebag”) Ben York Jones (“Douchebag”)
When the Britain-born Anna (Felicity Jones) and American Jacob (Anton Yelchin) begin their relationship, they know that eventually Anna’s college career will be over and her school visa will run out, sending her back to England. When that day finally comes, she decides she can’t do it, and overstays until she returns to London briefly. When she tries to come back into America, she is denied entrance and Anna and Jacob must face the challenge of keeping their relationship intact when they can’t physically be together.
Jones makes her mark in her American film debut with a very strong performance, one that will lead to many major roles in the future. While her character is eccentric and quirky, her natural beauty and smile light up the screen, as she provides so much of what makes these kinds of movies so charming. Her chemistry with Yelchin is also strong, and both performances are genuine and believable.
“Like Crazy” is an independent film in its truest sense. The characters bond over their love for Paul Simon, create quirky gifts for each other and many of the scenes of them together are put together in montages reminiscent of a movie trailer or music video. Most of the dialogue is improvised and it was shot on a microbudget using a Canon digital SLR that is available to consumers. That doesn’t affect the movie however, as it is mostly well composed. The improvisation of dialogue perhaps adds to the authenticity as the fights between Jones and Yelchin are very convincing.
The film starts off strong as we see two people in young love, trying to deal with problems that accompany being in a long distance relationship. They struggle to communicate due to the time differences, spend tons of money on flights for just weeks of time spent together and even kick around the idea of seeing other people when they can’t be together. But as the film goes on, the relationship between Yelchin and Jones begins to feel more like an obligation, and the desire to see these two be together starts to wither. Towards the end of the film, the characters slowly begin to lose their charm, alienating the audience as they sink into misery.
“Like Crazy” is a good relationship drama in many ways, one that deals with long distance relationships accurately and with sincerity. Jones shows moments of being a truly captivating young actress, but the narrative stretches itself a little too thin and ultimately makes for a film that is solid, but unspectacular.