This year's Sundance Film Festival champion has finally found itself in the midst of my viewing and I must say that while some of the hype does seem drenched, the film is as sweeping as most come. With the release of two beautifully crafted trailers, along with a lot of buzz stating how great the film was, Like Crazy has been one of my most anticipated films of the year. While the film does fall short on a few good aspects, I did find myself reeling in my seat by the time it had ended. I had felt a lot of symphony and love toward Jacob and Anna, a couple so deeply and madly in love; these are feelings that only captivate through the most beautiful of films. Like Crazy is a beautiful movie because of its realistic vibe that senses off from start to finish, mostly due to its perfect characters.
Like Crazy is a bit unconventional when compared to other romantic dramas. What makes the film a lot different than most in the genre is that instead of seeing the full story of Jacob and Anna's complicated love-story, you only see pieces of it. The movie starts at the beginning of their romantic journey, and from that point, only moments and glimpses of whatever they share in their lives along the way. Drake Doremus, director/co-writer, frames the picture in a nostalgic sense, as if the couple is reminiscing about their favorite memories, most important or heartbreaking moments throughout the years. It was not important for the film to show us their first kiss or sexual encounter, but instead see how they lived their lives together, apart, and how they intersect with others in the five-period time-frame. In the film, Doremus will never offer us the full story but only fragments of these characters' lives. Under a little less than 90 minutes, there are only so many short moments offered but it provides a captivating experience that help make the film feel much more realistic. This style may bother some viewers, but in honest opinion it only pulls out one of the better aspects Like Crazy beholds.
Something very unique and stylish about the film especially is how Doremus films the picture. He uses many intimate and candid close-ups to convey the joy and anguish from the characters. Through this style, he allows the actors to show off true talent not through dialogue and action but through the look on their faces. The shaky camera-effect works beautifully too and it almost feels as though another character is capturing every moment and doc*menting their love for each other. It makes for an interesting viewing experience, because as the actions of the film are toying with your emotions, so too is the look and appearance of the movie.
Aaron Yelchin and Felicity Jones are above and beyond great in their roles. Yelchin has already proven he is capable of pulling off many different roles, but Jones gives the breakthrough performance here. In each scene, together or apart, both actors breathe the most of life into their characters allowing them a connection into the audience's hearts. In the film, as I already mentioned, we only get hints at things but with the outstanding performances it makes us feel like we know everything there is to know about them. You feel their every pain, their every heartache, along with every joy and sorrow. Their chemistry smolders on-screen keying their devastating romance much harder to take in. By the time the credits roll, you feel as though you know this couple on such a level where they may exist. The strength that comes from each performance is simply something that cannot be easily replaced, especially by Jones who gives one of the best female performances I've seen all year long.
Like this review, Like Crazy is short, but sweet. The film may seem as though it doesn't have enough time to pull the audience in and allow them to feel for these characters, it does the complete opposite. Throughout the 84 minutes, the director allows us only to understand the complexity behind the relationship of both characters and understand what pain they are going through. The film isn't the best romantic-drama out there, but its one of the better ones; especially with all the low-key romantic-comedies releasing nowadays, Like Crazy is a beautiful breath of fresh-air making you feel as though movie-love can still be displayed on a realistic level. If the ending of the film felt more complete less than cut-off, this would have been a less frustrating film on some instances and more perfect film on other. In the end you, you will still feel completely for both characters and thats truly all that matters.
Thanks for the read!
-Written by Corey Wood