Indie Movie Review: Like Crazy

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Like Crazy's about a young couple who fall in love, but are separated by visa problems. In terms of the mundane things that could possibly keep people apart, you might find that really disappointing. But as my fellow LSE grads and I have learned over the past 5 years, it's very real and it becomes all the more frustrating because it seems like such an artificial barrier.

So on a basic premise-level, I bought the story. But there were problems with the execution, particularly a lack of obvious chemistry between the leads. But Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones' performances went a long way to making the film work.

In the first ten minutes I was wary. Ohhhhhh so wary. I've realized now that having characters "meet-cute" is a necessary evil in this type of film, and thankfully, Like Crazy got it out of the way in the beginning. I was still deathly afraid this movie was going to turn into Garden State though, especially when she trotted out her love for Vampire Weekend.

But in some ways, this movie's almost an inversion of the manic pixie dreamgirl stereotype. The tension comes because she knows what she wants, every step of the way, and he's caught up in a forceful wave of crazy love. (oh yes, she's crazy).

In fairness, you can't sustain this sort of relationship without some level of crazy. Unfortunately, the most horrifying manifestation of crazy was the decision to "see other people" while they were waiting for their immigration issues to be sorted out.

As we watch them break the hearts of those who love them and are present, all we can think about is how selfish they are, destroying their own lives and others for the sake of a dream founded on 2 months of happiness. Oh, they deserve each other, alright, just so that no one else has to put up with them.

In all fairness, director Drake Doremus did manage to create a visually beautiful film, with some original editing choices. He uses musical montages to denote the passage of time, which are a pleasure to watch and listen to (as, it should be noted, are the stars). But no amount of directorial acumen can overcome the central problem with Like Crazy: a flimsy, improbable storyline.

That said, if Felicity Jones isn't a star by next year, I'll hang my hat on a statue. But seriously, what a colossal waste of Jennifer Lawrence.

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3 Responses to “ Indie Movie Review: Like Crazy ”

  1. Good point about Jennifer Lawrence.  I wanted the filmmakers to get her out of those over-sized sunglasses - the trend that refuses to die in America - and give her more to do.   She was wasted.   You're probably right about Felicity Jones as well.   She looks to be on her way to stardom.  I hope Albatross gets released in this country at some point, to see her in a different role, not to mention Julia Ormond.  

    Danny - themoviegoer-danny.blogspot.com

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  2. theoncominghope2 December 2011 03:47

    Ooooh I haven't seen Albatross yet, but I look forward to it.

    Poor Jennifer Lawrence. Instead of lines, they gave her hipster sunglasses.

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  3. Though you say the storyline is improbable, it so happens that it happened to me. Though the countries and length of time getting to know one another were different in my case, Doremus is definitely the first director to even coming close to capturing the emotional strangeness that comes when dealing with complexities of being separated by visa issues, which have uncertain outcomes. Although I do agree that there was a certain lack of chemistry at the beginning, it did seem to deepen throughout the movie (just like in real life), and then ebb and flow. Doremus toys with the precariousness of  dealing with perceptions of the other person based on a shared past only to find one's current context a force to be reckoned with.

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