Like Crazy (2011).

D: Drake Doremus. DP: John Guleserian. W: Drake Doremus & Ben York Jones. Starring: Anton Yelchin/Felicity Jones/Jennifer Lawrence/Charlie Bewley/Alex Kingston/Oliver Muirhead.

Another Sundance Film Festival darling has gathered some steam and is hitting theaters right before award season. This year it is Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy. A film about young love, long distance turmoil, and the power of the British government.

I will say right off the bat that these modern anti-romantic comedy relationship films are oftentimes only as good as what you bring into the movie with you. Meaning that they can cause most audience members to become self-reflective about their own relationships and experiences. Every now and then a film can be more than that and actually deliver quality performances, unique story telling, and sometimes gut wrenching after effects (I’m looking at you Blue Valentine). Sadly, Like Crazy is not one of those films. However this does not mean it isn’t good or doesn’t work, it just isn’t as memorable.

The film mostly deals with the sparkle of young, new love, and how space and time can do so much damage to something so great. Even more specifically, the film reminds its audience of how hard it is to put something back together once it is been damaged or tested. Both Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are adequate as the young lovers here. Jones’ Anna is given a bit more depth and character development than Yelchin’s Jacob. However, throughout watching the film you begin to not care who they are, but rather yearn for them to be happy and together (damn those pesky student visas).

With each frame you almost want to close your eyes and remember. Whatever stake you had in someone, whatever hope lit up your chest, whatever made you feel light and drunk with the knowledge that you weren’t alone. At times it was difficult to remember to watch the movie. I kept getting caught in my own head, in my own heart, wondering where all the pieces had ended up falling. The journey of the film is important here. The ups and downs. The questions. How do we untangle ourselves from something so raw? A feeling that unhinges us? What do we do when we find it? What if we don’t? What if we think we found it and remain high off those memories for years? When does the destruction start to overtake the good?

So, although not as heavy as last year’s Blue Valentine (which honestly left me reeling for days, so much so that I didn’t even write about it), Like Crazy still made me reflect. Will it make you? I can talk about the hand held camera work, the nice presence of Jones’ parents, the love of montages Doremus seems to have or I could simply say, you will get out of this one what you bring into it. It’s a crap shoot like most relationships are. But at least after this one you will be able to eat your dinner.

2 thoughts on “This One’s Totally up to You”

  1. The story may have its fair share of schmaltz and cheesiness, but the direction and performances from the cast make this a believable and painful story about young love. It’s also refreshing to see a film that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Nice review. Check out mine once you get the chance.

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