johnlink ranks LIKE CRAZY (2011)

Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence are two of my favorite young actors. They are both in LIKE CRAZY, though Lawrence has only a minor role. This does also star Felicity Jones who I was unfamiliar with before now. I’d have to see another thing or two of hers, but she certainly could end up on that list as well.

Like Crazy Why So Blu 4

I watched LIKE CRAZY (2011) on 5.9.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) are young and in love. He is a native Los Angeles kid, she is a native Brit studying at a university in So Cal. They have a beautiful and passionate beginning to their relationship. She experiences a complication which keeps her out the states. Their romance is on and off for awhile, with each taking some time seeing other people (Jennifer Lawrence and Charlie Bewley).

This is somewhat of a romantic comedy, though the comedy is not forced or situational. This is certainly a drama, but has enough lightness and humor to never feel heavy until the end. This is certainly an anti-romance in the vein of something like (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, but LIKE CRAZY is much more honest than that film (even though it may not be quite as good).

Much of LIKE CRAZY is improvised, with the scenarios and the destination planned but the dialogue not. Yelchin and Jones are more than up to the task, and they really kill the conversations here. There are multiple moments of brutal honesty which work. There is air in the conversations which feels real and unforced. There are fights which don’t feel like fights and non-fights which cut through the bullshit and straight to the point. There were multiple moments where I turned to my wife and said “We do that to each other ALL THE TIME.” It’s that kind of honest.

Jacob is much more laid back regarding the relationship. He wants it for the benefits but does not want to work. Benefits, for once, not just meaning sex. In fact, this movie takes pains to not show the leads engaged sexually, though each is shown with their secondary partner. Writer/Director Drake Doremus is taking pains to point to the fact that the relationship isn’t flawed because of sex. Instead, it is flawed because Jacob wants things the easy way. Anna is much more committed, she seems to love him more, yet it is she who offers to release him from the obligations of being together at one point. A potential separation would be too much effort emotionally for Jacob. It is easier to say the right things when she is there and do what he wants when she is not. Her love is nice. He just isn’t as willing to do absolutely anything to save it.

Which isn’t to say Anna is perfect. She sometimes goes through extremely cold periods before some hot ones. She is jealous at times (though less so than Jacob) even as they both acknowledge that they are equally guilty of seeing other people.

The film is shot whimsically for a drama. The shots allow the actors time and space to move. There is a variety of locales both beautiful and less glamorous. All of this points to an effort to tell an authentic story of love and how complex it can be. LIKE CRAZY absolutely succeeds on this level, even if it often hurts.




FINAL SCORE: 8.25 out of 10


~ by johnlink00 on May 12, 2014.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks LIKE CRAZY (2011)”

  1. The sap of this material worked for me somehow. It felt honest and raw, even when it was so obviously up these kids’ hineys the whole time. Good review John.

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