Like Crazy (Drake Doremus)

Looking for a good date movie? Then stay well clear of Like Crazy, the ultra-real look at relationships.

Unlike One Day or The Notebook that may leave you looking for your one true love, Like Crazy will tell you there isn’t one. There are no happy endings; real life isn’t that easy.

Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin play British Anna and American Jacob, a couple who are determined to make their student romance work, post-college. Unfortunately for them, the Visa squad are stopping Anna from travelling due to her overlong stay in California that summer, violating her visa.

While repeatedly appealing for over four years, Anna and Jacob attempt to make their cross-Atlantic love affair work. But as they get on with their lives, meet new people and are offered job opportunities, memories of their summer of love become increasingly distant.

Like the moments in time where they reconnect, Like Crazy takes jumps in unspecified periods of time to show how the characters, and their relationship, have changed.

This hopscotch montage of dizzying first-love thrills is refreshing and relatable and the actors deliver believable performances. In fact, much of the dialogue was improvised, giving the actors only guidelines to follow.

Other characters come and go; Jacob’s fling Sam (Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone) and Anna’s equivalent, Simon (Charley Bewley, Twilight), as broken hearts littering the timeline, showing that love is hardly ever forever. This is unexpected as hot chick Lawrence and rich Brit Bewley are usually the kind of characters playing love interests in rom-coms.

Although there is an overhanging sense of doomed fate over the couple’s future together, the audience is left in suspense, wondering what will become of the two star-crossed lovers.

This romance offers a window into relationships that most other films don’t, showing the uniqueness of the bond between two people, with a kind of closeness that makes you feel as if you are intruding into it.

Twenty-eight year old director Drake Doremus uses his own experiences of love to tell the tale, reminding us that relationships move in unpredictable ways, timing and outside factors can decide for us, trust is difficult, and love (rarely) conquers all.

This indie-romance was the predictable choice  to win the Grand Jury prize at last year’s Sundance film festival, as Sundance favors experimental filmmaking methods like the improvised dialogue used here.

Like Crazy can be added to the growing pile of American indie movies now show relationships going awry- (500) Days of Summer, Before Sunset/Sunrise, Chasing Amy, to name a few.

However, although Like Crazy wins hearts for its charm, it breaks them with its somewhat depressing message, and has become a disastrous box office flop- so perhaps the tragic-romance formula doesn’t work?

Like Crazy is in cinemas now.

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