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