Sunday, 17 June 2012

Like Crazy

"I just have to say one thing and it's really important that you just listen to me. I just... "

Like Crazy is a 2011 Romantic Drama in which two young students fall in love but get torn apart by problems with immigration. Anna (Felicity Jones) is studying Journalism at college in L.A. on a student visa when she meets and falls in love with Jacob (Anton Yelchin). The two begin a heartfelt and romantic relationship during which Anna overstays her visa. After returning briefly to the UK for a Wedding she is denied re-entry to the US and is forcibly deported. The couple then struggle to maintain a relationship or even a friendship over a distance of several thousand miles and discover that the time and distance is not the only thing that is capable of keeping them apart.

This film produced a flurry of emotions from me. During the first act I kept saying “awww” as it is incredibly cute. The two actors felt like a very realistic and sweet couple and reminded me of being in the first throws of love. By the second act I was screaming at the US Immigration Officials and then ended up telling the central characters off, even though I’m about 80% sure they couldn’t hear me. The film goes up and down, in and out, backwards and forwards, roundabout and back again and I went with it every step of the way.

The plot isn’t exactly unpredictable but the story is both sweet and sad. The dialogue is 100% improvised which was very obvious. Sometimes this made the scenes feel very real but at times the dialogue felt forced and as though the actors were trying to hard to make it seem authentic. Overall it was successful. The ending was well judged and left me wanting more. The two central performances were both excellent. I’ve been a huge fan of Felicity Jones (for more than one reason) since I first saw her in Cemetery Junction and she even somehow managed to come out of the dreadful Chalet Girl with some credibility. Here she is excellent. She feels natural and actually looks like she is in love with Yelchin’s character. Anton Yelchin is also very good and has perhaps the more difficult role in that he will have every female viewer against him at one time or another. He manages to justify all his actions in my view and comes across as deeply caring. Their casting was spot on. One area that the casting felt a little odd was in Jenifer Lawrence. The role felt a little beneath her to be honest but she was good in it.

The direction is patchy and while Drake Doremus manages to get excellent performances out of the cast I found the camera work a little distracting at times. The numerous montages were all very pretty though and gave a good indication as to how or what a character was feeling. Like Crazy is a delightful drama which took me through a rollercoaster of emotions. The characters and story are likeable and it stays away from overstretching any part of the plot before coming to a slightly unsatisfactory but understandable ending.


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