Jacob (Yelchin), an American, and Anna (Jones), an English girl, meet and fall in love while in their last semester at college. Their love is all consuming and they cannot bare to be apart. When Anna’s visa expires she decides to ignore this and stay on in the States. This rash decision has severe repercussion on their relationship in the months and years to come. When Anna leaves America for a brief trip to England she is not allowed to re-enter the States on her return. Will their love survive the long distance and will they ever get the happily ever after they so desperately want with each other?
There is a real naturalness and passion in this film. This is in part due to the way it has been shot. It is not the stylized camera shots usually used in Hollywood romance stories, instead it has a documentary, fly on the wall feel about it. As a result you are engulfed into the characters lives from the get go.
It also helps that Yelchin and Jones have such a raw chemistry. From the onset, as a viewer, you can feel the passion and intensity of their love, the awkward moments and even the knots in their stomach moments transfer to yours. This could have to do with the fact that most of the script was improvised. The improvisation serves as both a positive and a negative. When done well it adds to the organic feel of this film, however, at times scenes feel very drawn out.
Director, Drake Doremus, has managed to capture the agony, and the unique issues that come with being in a long distance relationships. He has the pain of trying to snatch conversations due to time zones issues, the nervousness of seeing a person in their own environment, and the constant feeling of being on a holiday romance.
However, as the film goes on the characters start to lack depth and it’s very hard to feel any empathy for them. Frustration rather than empathy start to enter the mix. This is especially so when Sam (Jennifer Lawrence) enters the mix. While she is likeable, her actions make her very frustrating and in turn show Jacob and Anna in a not so bright light.
But maybe this is the emotion Doremus wanted the audience to feel? All the characters and the situation they find themselves in is frustrating. So, perhaps, if the audience leaves the cinema feeling the same frustration, he has achieved his aim?
While it is great that it does not go for the formulaic Hollywood romance story, Like Crazy unfortunately loses its appeal when it starts to feel like it is going round and round in circles and then all over a sudden it comes to an abrupt halt.
I wanted to be crazy about this film but I fell out of love with it as it went on. It had flashes of being as fabulous as (500) Days of Summer but unfortunately it never reaches those heights.
Like Crazy is in Irish cinemas now