Budding actors Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones star in Drake Doremus’ emLike Crazy/em. The film is the strikingly honest, though at times tedious, story of a young furniture design major, Jacob, who falls in love with Anna, a British exchange student during senior year of college.
Anna has to return home after graduation, yet she disregards her parents’ (played by Alex Kingston and Oliver Muirhead, offering hilarious comic relief) warnings of ignoring her visa and decides to stay the summer with Jacob. Anna visits home briefly, but when she decides to come back to the U.S. her visa is denied, forcing the couple to renegotiate their relationship. Jealousy and miscommunication follows over a span of a few years.
Shot on a Canon 7D, the film has an amateur, voyeuristic feel and makes the audience feel a part of Anna and Jacob’s romance. The scenes are captured from behind glass doors or around corners, as if a glimpse into something very private and very real.
The choice to use this form of story telling makes the love between Jacob and Anna appear refreshingly genuine. After so many frivolous “Friends with Benefits”-esque attempt at romance, the blunt depiction in Like Crazy is a welcome change.
Doremus has a sometimes tiresome tendency to rely on montages to portray long passages of time or to speed up the beginning of the romance. The couple is seen in various clips running along the beach or lying in bed together. The montage-happy Doremus forces the love between Anna and Jacob on the viewer.
As the relationship and the movie continue the characters are suddenly older, have careers, and have new relationships. The exact amount of time that has passed is never actually stated, causing for a confusing timeline. At one point Jacob is discussing Anna very briefly with a co-worker explaining they decided to take some time apart but with no previous scene or explanation as to why.
Anna and Jacob are together and suddenly “they’re seeing other people.” Those anal over details might find this irritating, as it pushes too much responsibility on the viewer to guess what happened and when.
Despite the few flaws within the movie, the sincerity in both Yelchin’ and Jones’ performances saves the movie from cliché.
Instead of vocalizing how much they love each other or how frustrated they are over their sometimes-strained relationship, the actors choose a more improvisational technique. They tend to avoid constant talking to express their feelings but instead use their facial expressions and embraces to convey feelings more strongly than words ever could.
The last scene of the film is example of this charged silence. Standing in the shower together there is no steamy sex scene, but instead a loving embrace between two young adults, holding on to each other terrified of being ripped apart once again.