(Published in Issue 6 of my publication In Retrospect)
Directed by Drake Doremus, Like Crazy tells the story of British student Anna (Felicity Jones) who, whilst studying in America, begins a relationship with Jacob (Anton Yelchin). Unable to resist spending the summer with him before having to return home, Anna overstays her visa and, after a short trip back to her hometown in England, is denied re-entry into America. The couple must now face a long-term relationship, but as they find comfort in new company, Anna with Simon (Charlie Bewley) and Jacob with Sam (Jennifer Lawrence), the two begin to struggle with the pressure, yet they remain determined to make it work.
Like Crazy sets itself up to be a film about true love; a strong passion that will make the girls weep and their boyfriend’s cringe in an ignorant disgust. Unfortunately, it’s far from it. The film begins as the two meet, or at least this is their first date. An awkward conversation that doesn’t really entail anything, but we are to presume from this that the two have somehow madly fallen for each other and that from now on they are supposedly inseparable.
The film is a very classic indie film. A beautiful score plays throughout, as stunning backdrops of beaches and sunsets fill the screen, with frequent montages of romantic encounters between our two main characters. One thing that is very different about this film is that its dialogue is completely improvised. Beforehand, this fact really impressed me. Sadly this was one of the main reasons that the film didn’t work. Whilst this provoked a genuine emotion from the actors, it did not do the same for the audience. Scenes were filled with awkwardness, as their conversations were weak and lacked any depth.
If a well-written script was in place then this might have been a much better film. What we see, however, is a story that spends too much time depicting their fall out, and not enough time laying out the foundations of their relationship. For this reason, it was very hard to care about either of them, which for a film about romance would play quite a big part. For me, it felt like there was no feeling of love in this film at all. It was actually rather depressing. As a romantic drama, Like Crazy very much missed the spot.
Felicity Jones won three awards for her performance in the film but I find it hard to comment. With the combination of these actors making up the lines as they go and the lack of any relatable connection with either of them, there wasn’t much in the way to waive this opinion. Jennifer Lawrence, however, I did enjoy seeing. Whilst she didn’t have much of a role to play in this film, I am very much looking forward to seeing her in The Hunger Games in a few months time.
It’s hard to end this with anything left on a high, as by the end of it I just didn’t care. With no romance and very little drama, I find it hard to see why I was persuaded to watch it in the first place. And that’s a great shame.
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