Capturing the raw emotion of two people who believe they’ve found love at first sight is no small challenge for any film. Like Crazy attempted to do it on a relatively slim budget. And let there be no doubt, capturing the feelings of a couple who fall in love and then struggle to cement that relationship over a long distance between them is Like Crazy’s overarching goal.
Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) fall in love at college in LA. Anna is from London and has to return. She delays the inevitable and violates her visa in the process. On her attempt to make it back to Jacob she is denied access due to the violation. Apparently no one told Anna just how hard it is to travel in and out of the USA these days, no matter if you look as though your puppy dog eyes and quivering lips could melt even the coldest of border control’s hearts. The couple is left with a long distance relationship. Or are they? Why doesn’t Jacob, a recent college grad, chase after the girl who’s stolen his heart? Because he started a chair building business and that would be too hard to do in London. Right, I don’t get it either.
The two live their lives apart and attempt some semblance of a relationship separated by the Atlantic but it’s not working. Jacob seems to come to this conclusion before Anna and it’s not long before he finds someone new and she moves in with him. That someone just happens to be the star of another small film, The Hunger Games. Yep, somehow Jennifer Lawrence plays the smallest of roles as Jacob’s consolation prize, Sam.
The story continues of first loves never able to forget one another and reconnecting. The strength of the film is not plot or dialogue. It is more like an artistic feature film length music video. Emotion needs to be conveyed in every moment Jacob and Anna are on the screen. For the most part it works. It’s done well enough to make one forgive the contrived plot points and a sloppy editing job in the third act that had me questioning whether I was watching the same timeline or something from the past.
Like Crazy is appropriately titled. The obstacles our young love birds must overcome are absurdly small when put in any perspective. Jacob and Anna are driven by their feelings in some bizarre ways, but never driven enough to see things through to one conclusion or another. They chase feelings from one fleeting moment to another only to find that it leaves them feeling empty. An artful tale that falls short but serves a good study for all who feel in love but have little more than emotions to lean on.