Like Crazy- Out in UK cinemas 27th January 2012
If 500 Days of Summer was your thing, then Like Crazy will suitably quench that bittersweet thirst for an indie rom-com.
Focusing on first love and its resilience over time and geographical distance, the frustratingly hard-boiled drama depicts the journey of young lovers, Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin), as they try to keep their relationship together.
A Grand Jury prize favourite at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Like Crazy chronicles the fellow-student’s love through a series of snap-shot moments, starting in an LA college car park where, in a true ode to modern times, Anna leaves a love letter on Jacob’s car. From here a tender and deeply moving relationship begins to unravel.
The film’s greatest credit is the natural magnetic bond between Jones and Yelchin, which is understated but engaging and bolstered by director, Drake Doremus’s trademark preference for skeletal story over script.
This is at its best in the second two-thirds of the film, when Anna overstays her visa and has to return to her native London, forcing the pair to battle to preserve a love that lies just out of reach.
The film ensues, hopscotching between London and LA, from key moment to key moment, which can be jarring at times and asks the audience to accept major changes in each character’s life, with little explanation or attention to motives. The transition through time is, however, beautiful. Doremus employs a collection of attractive montages and intriguing sequences played out in triple time, to maintain a sense of closeness with the characters, which proves emotionally intense and is often heart-breaking.
Cementing Doremus as an indie-film poster-boy, following the success of Douchebag, Like Crazy typically avoids mainstream melodrama and fairy tale endings, preferring to evoke a sense of realism with the notion that the reality of being together is often as challenging as being apart, while questioning whether love does, or ever should, conquer all.
Blurring the lines between true love and infatuation, this gender-friendly story is so intimately told that it even manages to drive the viewer a little crazy at times.