Directed by Drake Doremus. Starring Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence. 90 mins.
In cinemas January 27
A BEAUTIFULLY ACTED AND WONDERFULLY ORGANIC PORTRAIT OF THE INTENSITY OF YOUNG LOVE
Last year’s Blue Valentine charted the depressing journey of two people who fall out of love with each other. Though slighter, Like Crazy may be an even sadder tale. For this wonderfully poignant, nuanced tale merely sees never see love worn down by the basic mechanics of a relationship conducted over too many miles, between two people much too young.
Following the budding love affair between English rose Anna (Felicity Jones) and L.A. student Jacob (Anton Yelchin), Like Crazy was reportedly inspired by director Drake Doremus’ real-life experience, and the film indeed evokes a beautiful feeling of cherished memory. Organically scripted and acted; short cuts, montages, intimate close-ups and direct-to-camera acting invite the audience to experience the story as through the characters’ recollections, allowing us to see them through each other’s eyes.
But Doremus isn’t shooting through a rose-coloured lens. Among the meet-cutes and secret notes and tender embraces, there are painfully realistic scenes depicting the insecurity and frustration that comes from having a relationship more intense than the characters’ maturity levels can handle. Their declarations of love and weeping late-night phone-calls all capture the giddiness of the title, a teenage addendum to “I love you” that denotes an endearing but immature leaning towards excessiveness. Likewise, Anna’s insistence that violating her Visa in order to spend more time with Jacob won’t have any lasting consequences demonstrates the self-centred short-sightedness of two children living and loving in an adults’ world.
Yelchin impresses as the conflicted Jacob, but it’s the gorgeous Jones who steals the film as the stubborn, determined Anna, whose light, mischievous side shines whenever she’s around Jacob. Though she “doesn’t feel young”, when she becomes jealous or is saying goodbye to her lover, her girlish vulnerability is heart-breaking to watch.
This wonderfully acted film beautifully captures the complexities of young love; the “smudginess of it; the pink-slippered, all-contained, semi-precious eagerness of it.” Watch. Fall.