Like Crazy is a fresh approach to the typical romantic drama–how nice!

Like Crazy is refreshing.  It is a simple, quietly told love story.  No Hollywood tricks here.  Just a narrative that follows two young people as they fall in love and struggle with finding their place.  But, it would not work as well if it wasn’t for the strong performances by Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin–both up and coming talent that get a chance to shine here.

I am not a sucker for romance.  Actually, I hate the predictable, formula romances–comedy and/or drama.  I find them frustrating and unoriginal.  Girl meets boy in some kind of “meet cute“–they have a new love montage–they encounter a problem and/or secret–they fight–they break up–and then they make up and live happily ever after.  BORING!   For that reason, most of my favorite romantic movies tend to end with death. 🙂  What can I say?  It’s realistic!  (I do like happy endings–but it has to stem from a realistic source.)

That said, writer/director Drake Doremus has taken a very real approach.  So real that he gave Jones and Yelchin an outline and basic plot points and allowed them to improvise their scenes together.  It works.  You feel like your watching two real people discover each other.  My favorite parts are when they say nothing–you can feel their chemistry and if you have ever been in love–you remember that feeling.  The direction tends to be full of montages and borders on cliché at times, but what saves this from tipping into eye rolling territory are the wonderful, strong performances by Jones and Yelchin. 

Felicity Jones garnered a lot of attention earlier (festival circuit) and I think she was snubbed by Oscar.  She is lovely.  Her Anna is Intelligent, determined and hopelessly in love.  Anton Yelchin continues to impress me.  I like this kid.  He has this every man charm, but with something going on behind his eyes.  His Jacob is the weaker of the two–torn, but also afraid of this powerful emotion.  Together they are sweet and tragic–able to convey all the emotions that being in love can evoke.

Like Crazy is the film for you if you enjoy a good love story–even if it is realistic. 

p.s. No one dies.  ;D

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Sherlock how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

A view of the London skyline, with the word "Sherlock" in black letters

I have been smitten!  Sherlocked!  I am head over heels in love with Sherlock!  It has quickly and easily become of one my all time favorite pieces of storytelling from television and/or film.   It continually impresses me–the writing, the performances, the mind-bending puzzles and Benedict Cumberbatch.  Series 2 is now over and I am already planning to re watch Series 1 and 2 because I am not sure how I will survive almost a year before Series 3!

I stumbled upon this awesomeness while browsing the PBS Masterpiece Mystery website last year. I read “Last chance to see Sherlock–a reinvention of the classic sleuth–still set in London, but in the 21st century!”  I was intrigued.  I knew Martin Freeman (already cast in The Hobbit) but was unfamiliar with anyone else.  I have always enjoyed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes stories and up to that point, Hollywood’s latest version with Robert Downey, Jr and Jude Law was a fun, although predictable, action-filled blockbuster.  So, Sherlock in the 21st century?  Could that work?

YES!  It works wonderfully!  What writers and creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, have done is taken the original Victorian stories and given them a contemporary update.  This version allows Holmes to use all the modern technology available and makes the necessary tweaks to make everything fit the present world–it is very cleverly done.  They use visuals to accompany Sherlock’s process and it is cool to not only hear, but see how his mind works. 

The best update is Sherlock himself–he is now a fast talking, arrogant, “high-functioning sociopath” and Cumberbatch is perfect.  Freeman as Dr. Watson is the perfect counterpart–intelligent, stable, and calm.  I love their chemistry–it is natural and yet, electric.  Watson: Why didn’t I think of that. Sherlock: Cause you’re an idiot. No no no, don’t be like that, practically everyone is.

Add a strong supporting cast and some truly mind twisting cases and it is pretty awesome.  Yet they also added an amazing villain, James Moriarty (Andrew Scott) and pushed it over the top.  Scott’s Jim Moriarty is spectacular!  It is a performance not to be missed.  I do not want to spoil anything, but I will say that Cumberbatch and Scott, together are an impressive duo.  (Series 2 finale Reichenbach Fall is fantastic!) 

I could go on and on.  There is something special in every episode and so many little details.  I can quote many, many classic lines, but, as always, I do not wish to spoil the pleasure of you discovering all of this on your own.  Check it out–as Sherlock would say…”The Game is On!”

Series 1:

Series 2: