Film Review : Like Crazy
Mar 30, 2012 05:59PM ● Published by Justin Buettner
A young couple, Jacob and foreign exchange student Anna, fall in love. Their relationship becomes complicated when they graduate and Anna stays past her Visa expiration and is deported and banned from entering the country. The young couple must now deal with a long distance relationship from different countries and time zones, will their love last?
Like Crazy attempts to capture the true moments of love and some of the time it succeeds. Instead of showing sex scenes and long scripted dialog they show quiet moments of a couple’s relationship and how that changes from close to extended and definitely when it is challenged. These moments include looks, and whispering to each other under the covers and just sharing each other’s company. It is something that is not often shown in a movie, if for anything because it takes up valuable screen time when you only have two hours to tell a story. However to only explore the small moments and not offer up a strong supporting cast of characters and plot ultimately makes the audience feel as though they missed something, which Like Crazy certainly is guilty of.
In fact other love interests appear almost out of nowhere in the film and are quickly tossed out of the story as quickly as they came. While I appreciate the filmmakers wanted to keep the focus on the central relationship I think neglecting these other relationships definitely affects the impact of the ending in this movie. Not only that, the but strange lack of communication that is shown in the film between Jacob and Anna in terms of discussing and acting on a plan to be together right upfront really undercuts some of the actions the characters take, especially Jacob, later in the film. In short the story really feels incomplete.
The performances by Anton Yelchin as Jacob and Felicity Jones as Anna are strong. The entire movie revolves around these two characters and they do an admirable job shouldering the movie. The film has a strong supporting cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, but ultimately their talents are wasted as the supporting characters really didn’t have much to work with in this movie.
The real downfall of Like Crazy is the fact the audience gets to see the small moments, but other than what amounts to be montages we miss the big moments that create this relationship. This prevents the main relationship on which the movie is built from being as convincing to the audience as it is for their characters. So while Anna is broken up about their long distance relationship falling apart, it doesn’t break my heart like it should.
Because this film is born as an independent film, Like Crazy sports an ending that is sure not to sit well with many mainstream audiences. In short, it doesn’t sport a happy ending by any stretch of the imagination. People thinking they are renting a date movie that will leave you with happy feeling will be sorely disappointed. I think people who have had the experience of a long distance relationship will find the most connection with this story. For people looking for a quiet independent drama about relationships Like Crazy will be a perfect match, but a date movie this is not.
Films like Like Crazy : Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, and One Day
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.