I can't recall exactly how I first came across "Like Crazy", I'm sure it was another one of my "browsing sessions" on YouTube, but after watching the full length trailer I knew I had to see it. A handful of reasons I was so attracted to this movie were an unequal combination of the music used, the particular scenes that were shown, and the presented story. Aside from those influences, I had my own personal reasons. All of that aside, I'm sure that at one point or another in our lives we can identify with what happened in this movie. Or, at the very least, we can relate to this movie's events.
Anna Marie Gardner (Felicity Jones) and Jacob Matthew Helm (Anton Yelchin), students at a Los Angeles university, instantly fall in love with each other in a matter of days. They spend nearly every day together; going to concerts; walking along the beach and board walk; or simply hanging out at Jacob's apartment sampling different whiskies. But Anna is British and as graduation draws ever nearer, Anna ultimately chooses to stay, violating her student visa. After a visit back home, Anna learns that she cannot enter the United States again. Battling customs and immigration, as well as each other, Anna and Jacob are faced with an ultimatum: Is their relationship worth all of the distance and continued hardship?
Before I saw the trailer for this movie, I had no idea "Like Crazy" even existed. Having finally seen it in its entirety earlier this afternoon, I am thoroughly glad I did. I don't normally see or pay attention to romantic drama movies, but this one stands out from the rest. Two main reasons why are the facts that "Like Crazy" had a budget of only two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars and it won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. One other thing worth mentioning, that I had no knowledge of before today, is that the dialogue was fully improvised. At times it was difficult to hear what either person was saying but never once did I have to rewind just to make it out.
Fortunately the performances didn't suffer the same annoyances. Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones both delivered wonderful, believable and relatable performances, Felicity in particular. I'll be the first person (depending on the day) to tell you that I am an emotional guy. It doesn't happen every time I see a new movie, but every once in a while there will be that hidden gem that comes along and surprises me with its story and level of emotion. As well as how much of my own emotions it stirs up. Looking back, there were only a handful of movies that moved me to the point of either holding back tears or crying openly. "Like Crazy" is one such film that accomplished the former.
One of the hardest things I had to go through in my teenage or "formative years" was the long distance relationship that I had with a neighbor girl who lived just across my backyard in the parsonage of a nearby church. I can still remember the early Spring afternoon when she told me that she and her family would be moving across-state. Of course being only fifteen years old, neither of us could really understand what we were really doing. However at that time it truly felt like she was moving halfway across the world. All of that happened years ago and after a veritable roller coaster of events; some good, others bad, and the rare "friendship-threatening" happening, I can happily say that she remains the best and most influential friend I have ever had.
Okay, enough of my personal history. As I watched "Like Crazy" play out before me I couldn't help but be moved by what Jacob and Anna were going through. It was hard enough watching a friend move across the state, but I could not begin to imagine how impossibly difficult it would be going through repeated customs and immigration disputes. There were a couple of scenes that I did not expect to see; the trailer paints a much different picture than what is actually given. However those scenes ultimately work in the movie's favor. As does the movie's ending, but don't worry I won't spoil anything.
What I will say is that "Like Crazy" has an ending that I honestly didn't see coming. The way it was left kept me thinking long after the credits ceased to roll across my television screen. I'm still thinking about it as I type now, that is how much it resonates with me. There were a couple of things that I did not like, but in the end they didn't work against the overall movie.
Now that most everything is said and done, I would certainly recommend that anyone who enjoys movies of this type get this movie and watch it as soon as you can.
This was a review by tMG, thank you very much for the read.