Sundance Review: Like Crazy
Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin) meet their senior year in college. I wish a cute, ambitious British poet would leave a four page note on my car. Anna proves to be the most wonderful woman we’ve seen in movies, so she’s worth the trouble that comes later. Jacob’s a solid guy himself.
The falling in love part of the movie is really sweet. They spend a lot of time just sitting together. They don’t have to babble, rather just be in each other’s presence. They write notes to each other that we don’t get to read. Their relationship is passionate and natural.
Anna’s visa ends at graduation. She’s so in love, she stays the summer, but the next time she visits her family, she’s not allowed back in America. That is a way more badass premise than Going the Distance. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long lived in the same country. Not only do Anna and Jacob cross an ocean, but the break the law too!
Their scenes apart feel longing. I miss Anna when she’s away. Visits reveal that they’re living separate lives. Missing calls because of the time difference, seeing other happy couples on the tube, that’s how long distance really feels.
Jacob and Anna intelligently discuss the difficult problems. Jacob has no role in her group of friends. Did they sleep with other people while they were apart? It seems like the answer is no but it’s still a bad talk. When Anna asks Jacob if he wants to see other people, he gives the right answer but the question is just awful.
When it seems impossible, Jacob does see a new girl. Samantha (Jennifer Lawrence) is amazing, but she’s no Anna and that’s sad for poor Sam. Everyone in this movie is a good person and that creates more drama than stories of opposites. Doing the right thing for yourselves and each other is harder than bickering. There’s one argument but the unspoken conflicts hurt more.
Jacob and Anna make choices about marriage, about their whole lives and there’s still red tape that can’t be solved. How do you have fun and love each other when it’s so frustrating. People get hurt around Jacob and Anna because they’re not really available.
The only bad thing I can say about Like Crazy is I really wish it wasn’t shot handheld. The story and performances overpower the distracting shakes, but this movie really could have benefited from deliberate camerawork.
The movie’s open ending may make people think it’s a downer. I personally feel I know exactly what happens for Jacob and Anna and I’m happy for them. That’s not a spoiler because they don’t really say. So, the lesson is: don’t squat in America for love. Going through the proper channels is better in the long run.