Like Crazy (2011) Directed by Drake Doremus. Starring: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence. IMDB says: A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

Jess: This film is about relations. Each characters relation to another, as well as your relation to the characters.  Like Crazy depicts the intimate details and feelings that come with a long-distance, off-and-on relationship. It sets up well with two likeable characters who you can completely buy as a couple. Throughout, the film never takes the time to spell out what the exact status of their relationship is, as they reunite, break up, date others, and repeat. You can just sense and contextualize what is going on in their lives as the film progresses. I appreciated this aspect of the film and felt that each stage in their relationship was quite natural and realistic. Most relationships go through similar turmoil, and the long-distance was only one more addition to what the two would likely experience even if they weren’t separated. This film depends on you knowing how the characters are feeling because you’ve most likely experienced them yourself.

The high point of the film for me was the strong performances by Anton Yelchin, who is continuously impressive, and Felicity Jones who I thought was the element that completely elevated this film in my book. Jennifer Lawrence and Charlie Bewley play the couple’s other lovers. They don’t get enough screen time to really develop or shine, but they offer some nice balance to the film. The story isn’t necessarily important or memorable, but the people in it are thanks to Yelchin and Jones. It is shot beautifully and paired with a soft indie score that, while predictable, was welcome. I would definitely compare it to the look and strong character study seen in Blue Valentine, with a much less depressing tone. Overall, this film is very nice, but it’s pretty much left at that. Nothing is exciting enough to warrant huge praise, but there’s nothing that is a strong deterrent either. 

Lindsay: Like Crazy is a movie I felt I needed time to digest. I came to the conclusion that the film is ultimately less fulfilling than what it could have been, choosing to focus on characters over story. The movie follows Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin) as they meet, fall in love and deal with the ups and downs of their relationship. Anna is a British native who meets Jacob at college in America while on her student visa. Once enamored with one another, Anna makes a rash decision and over stays her visa. Of course when she does go home and attempt to return to Jacob in the US, she is halted and deported. This sets into motion a series of events and obstacles that plague the couple’s relationship and feelings towards each other for years to come.

For a film that is all about character struggles, it gets the most important thing right by casting two exceptionally talented young actors: Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin. Together their chemistry radiates and will undoubtedly bring about your own feelings of young love. The two characters aren’t fleshed out as much as I would have liked but the lack of development does help you to see more of yourself in the characters. Director Drake Doremus also does a wonderful job letting the actors roll with it, capturing moments that seem supremely sincere.

Here’s where the film loses points with me. Like Crazy is a perfectly respectable film that excutes its intended purpose. It is a slice of life movie, showcasing a snapshot of one couple’s relationship, letting the viewer come to conclusions about the nature of relationship. But I for one, would have liked to see a fleshed out story about a couple rather than peek into a chapter in their life. I don’t care if they end up together or not, but I want a complete arch. Like Crazy didn’t give me all that much to reflect on. I’ve had those feelings, I relate to them. I have felt that love and been in those arguments. There’s just no insight offered. Like I said earlier, I understand that to be the intention of the film, it was just a bit lost on me.

Nick viewed this as part of the New Orleans Film Festival.
 Nick: Like Crazy will break your heart. Though not as real and gritty as Blue Valentine, this film does just as a good a job thrusting you into the deep tensions of a relationship struggling to survive. The film focuses on Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) who meet in college. They spend a wonderful few months together, but it must come to an end because Anna’s student visa runs out and she must return to the U.K. Rather than return home for the summer and apply to return to the States in the fall, Anna overstays her visa and spends the summer in Jacob’s arms, shown through a fantastic and imaginative series of cuts. Anna goes home for a week for a cousin’s wedding and when she returns to the States, she is denied. The emotional tug of war begins and it does not give up or give in. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that stays with you for weeks after viewing. Just when you think it’s going to end, it keeps going, pushing their love further and further into every possible emotional pocket. Nothing is left unexplored in this film that is relatable in every way to anyone who’s ever been in a serious relationship.
I’m a sucker for anything Anton Yelchin is in. Ever since his outstanding breakthrough performance in House of D, I’ll watch anything with his name on it. He excels in this picture and the chemistry he has with Felicity Jones is undeniable. It looks almost too natural on screen, as Felicity really knows how to turn the heart screws inside of us, delivering a performance that will most likely be overlooked come awards season. The soundtrack is a perfect indie blend of warm minimalist score with the occasional pop punch from Paul Simon and Fool’s Gold. The film drags, I believe intentionally, but with such a gorgeous setting and such commanding performances, you don’t let it bother you. Definitely check out this movie when it gets released in theaters.

Like Crazy is in theaters now.