Saturday, 31 March 2012

Like Crazy

2011, 15, Directed by Drake Doremus
Starring: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Alex Kingston

Like Crazy is a love story with a twist: Jacob is an American student, whilst Anna is a British student living in America. They fall in love, pre-empting Anna to make the decision that she will outstay the expiry date of her visa, all to spend the summer with her one true love. This is the initial plot of the film, showing us (weirdly fleetingly) the process of how the two met and why they love each other so much (naturally as a furniture designer, he romantically builds her a chair…). When Anna returns home and attempts to visit Jacob back in America, she is denied entry forcing them both into a battle to prevent them from being kept apart. But it all grows tough, especially when new interests enter the fray. Cue lots of nights out where one text’s the other, the recipient reading said text and sheepishly putting the phone back into their pocket.
The problem with Like Crazy is minimal, bearing in mind the many positives. The structure preambles along, with no clear sense of direction; the whole film seems like a series of repeated events played out with different emotions often bordering on tedious. But it is to the credit of Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, who play the hapless romantics, that everything remains watchable and grounded in reality (even though the events are said to be based on the director’s real-life experiences). Mention must go to Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the new girl Jacob sees when in America – this actress, most recently seen in The Hunger Games, is definitely the next big thing. For those who can relate to the idea of a long-distance relationship and the struggle in the up-keep of this, Like Crazy will be everything you want from a romantic film. For everyone else, you will feel all the emotions the film wants you to feel, but without leaving you anything to chew on afterwards.

All in all, a bittersweet film elevated by the performances, providing some sort of promise.