Like Crazy (2011)

Out Now On-Demand

I want you. I need you. I love you. I miss you.

Bittersweet indie romance that "illustrates how your first real love is as thrilling and blissful as it is devastating." Winner of the Grand Jury Prize and Special Jury Prize for Acting (for Felicity Jones, Cemetery Junction) at the Sundance Film Festival 2011.

British college student Anna (Jones) falls for her American classmate Jacob (Anton Yelchin, Charlie Bartlett) in Los Angeles. Entangled in a passionate romance, the pair are suddenly separated when Anna violates the terms of her visa and returns home. Forced into a long-distance relationship, Anna and Jacob battle isolation, US customs bureaucracy and jealousy as new potential suitors arrive on the scene. Also stars Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone).

Trailers

Awards

Winner Grand Jury Prize (Drama) and Special Jury Prize for Acting (Jones), at Sundance Film Festival 2011.

Directed by

Drama, Romance

86mins

Rating: M contains sex scenes and offensive language

USA

Official Site

If you’ve ever been young and besotted, then had that fall to bits, prepare to relive it. Like Crazy captures the spirit of youth, the intensity of love and the aching disappointment that arises when life gets in the way.

Filmmaker Drake Doremus forgoes the conventions of a typical story structure and instead attempts to portray the most visceral elements of a fragile love affair: the heady rush of excitement, the heartbreak of long distance, and the underlying suspicion many of us come to know when we realise love doesn’t always conquer all. That may frustrate those expecting a plot with more meat on its bones, as the focus barely wavers from the interior lives of its central couple. But this is an ordinary story told in an extraordinarily beautiful way.

It’s no wonder it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Managing to keep melodrama at a distance, it’s nonetheless impossible not to get swept up in the relationship. None of this would be possible without rising stars Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction) and Anton Yelchin fully committing to their roles. Their performances are so natural, their chemistry so magnetic that their connection and conversations don’t feel scripted. It’s always clear what each of them is feeling, even if it’s not said. Doremus has managed to balance the magic of love with the cruel, blunt forces of the real world. You’ll feel this one like crazy.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

press

The scenes showing Jacob and Anna falling in love have a freshness... some of the whispered endearments under the sheets are delightful.

Empire (UK)

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Felicity Jones shines... A refreshing take on an age-old dilemma.

Guardian (UK)

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A reminder of the awful fact that all choices are permanent, to some degree. Life cannot be rewound and done over. It's a grownup love story.

Hollywood Reporter

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Deeply felt first-love tale offers convincing performances and a fine-tuned storytelling sensibility.

Los Angeles Times

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If you are experienced enough to understand love's fragility but still romantic enough to embrace its power, Like Crazy will put you away.

New York Times

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Largely a conventional, wan affair, despite its art-cinema flourishes.

Total Film (UK)

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Realism rules in this transatlantic heartbreaker. With stellar turns, particularly from Jones, this is your Valentine’s Day date sorted.

Variety (USA)

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Interestingly, Doremus leaves out almost everything a more traditional romance would highlight (the first kiss, the poetic declarations of love, the sex), and the film hits all the harder for zeroing in on the subtler, quieter moments in between.

Blue Valentine and The Graduate just made a baby

With all the big hype Oscar flicks that were released around the same time, I didn't pay a lot of attention to this film besides the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and Anton Yelchin were in it and that was enough in itself to make me check it out. Turned out for the best as I tend to get the most out of a good film I go into with no expectations.

First off, Felicity Jones. I knew Lawrence wasn't going to play the female lead going into this but was hoping she'd at least get a good 20/30 mins screen time. After the first ten minutes, I forgot Lawrence was even going to be in it. Jones is all over this movie in every impacting way. She portrays every emotion with unreal sensitivity and realism. Yelchin too is strong along side her and the two's up and down chemistry is the best I've seen in a long time. The film is only 90 mins and the story carries strong throughout, keeping you guessing as to the outcome of the relationship and finishes with a killer ending.

Like Crazy will break your heart three times and leave you hurting by the time the credits role. The best romance flick to come in a long time and one that I'm sure will be overlooked by many. If Blue Valentine jumped in a DeLorean and fooled around with The Graduate, Like Crazy would be their love child.


Extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

Extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

With a surprising intellect, Like Crazy's plot takes the overwrought subject of complicated romance and pushes it towards a refreshing realm of bittersweet love. Director Drake Doremus's script examines the reality of a contemporary love when separated by land and sea. The relationship he unfolds does so through a well balanced mixture of personal interaction and electronic communication. Intentional or not, this creates intriguing new barriers as both Anna & Jacob are able to limit their interactions and censor any feelings of apprehension, resentment or guilt they made hold.

Sadly, there are some fundamental shortcomings in the film's delivery that do not complement its potential. A lot can be said about Doremus's highly improvisational style. For me, this diluted any real chemistry between Jacob and Anna. At times during it I felt their dynamic strongly and was engaged, but these moments were all too fleeting. I suspect this was a murky interaction between improv and script. Should the scenes have been more firmly constructed, I feel we may have had a completely different film, one with more bite. I did consider that the improv could have worked with more vigilant casting. For the most part I enjoyed Anton Yelchin's withdrawn portrayal of Jacob but felt that Felicity Jones was possibly miscast in her role. Whilst clearly a talented actress, I think she overplayed her part and seemed a little challenged by Drake Doremus's progressive direction.