Review of Like Crazy

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Felicity Jones plays a British college student who falls for an American (played by Anton Yelchin), only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. Directed by Drake Doremus, Like Crazy also stars Jennifer Lawrence.
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Rating: PG-13

Length: 90 minutes

Release Date: January 22, 2011

Directed by: Drake Doremus

Genre: Drama and Romance

Stars: 4 out of 5

"Like Crazy" tells the heartfelt story of falling in and out of love over and over again. Starring Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence, the movie is a fresh, exciting take on a love story. For viewers who are looking for a change from the typical romantic movie, "Like Crazy" is certain to be an entertaining and emotionally satisfying movie.

The story focuses on Anna (Felicity Jones), a British student who came to the United States to attend college in L.A. During a media studies class, she spots Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and immediately feels connected to him. Despite the chance that he might think she's crazy, Anna places a note asking him to meet her on his windshield. He agrees, and the two discover an immediate and powerful connection.

During the first part of the movie, Anna and Jacob fall deeply in love. "Like Crazy" follows this process in a realistic way that mirrors the wild feelings that accompany first love. At one point, conversation stops entirely, and the audience watches scenes of the two characters interacting without words. This technique does not feel forced or cheesy because the skill of the actors and the filmmakers makes it feels realistic and emotional.

Fate intervenes in Anna and Jacob's perfect romance in the form of the U.S. government. Anna is so smitten that she decides to stay in the country longer than her visa permits. After taking a trip home, she is not allowed back into the United States.

Jacob and Anna are forced to continue their romance as best they can from opposite sides of the world. Time moves on, and the two finish college and start jobs. Jacob works as a furniture designer in California, and Anna is a writer in London. Although they are worlds apart, Anna and Jacob cannot forget each other. Even as the couple develops relationships with other people, their connection remains, causing problems and intense emotions. When Jacob offers to come to London, the two must make a decision about their future.

"Like Crazy" is painful in the best way possible. Anyone who has experienced the pain of falling out of love will connect with the characters' raw emotions as they fall in and out of love. Jones and Yelchin are entirely believable as the young lovers. Both actors give remarkable performances; their emotions are completely open and visible to audiences. Each actor is completely unaffected, which lends a realistic air to the movie. At times, viewers may forget they are watching a performance.

Felicity Jones is particularly engaging as a young woman in love. She is open and sweet, with just the right touch of dry British humor. Jones' acting is nuanced and believable to the point that it feels less like acting and more like existing in the body of her character. Her expressions convey each emotion as she falls in love, and viewers will have no trouble relating to her anguish at being separated from Jacob. Jones' performance resonated with audiences at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011, resulting in the Best Actress award.

Most of the plot deals with the pain of a long-distance relationship. Even for viewers who have not been separated from their loves by thousands of miles, or those who haven't been in love at all, the movie's overarching themes are relatable and emotional.

Director Drake Doremus, who wrote "Like Crazy" with Ben York Jones, hits every emotional mark in the film. In the beginning of the film, Doremus uses close-up shots to capture the lead actors' wonder and excitement as they fall in love. During the latter half of the movie, he relies on simple shots, allowing the story and the actors to take center stage. As a result, "Like Crazy" flows smoothly and draws viewers into the story. Doremus makes the most of the actors' raw emotions by choosing angles that focus on their eyes. His scenes are attractive but not over-the-top, creating a world that is relatable and believable.

Overall, audiences will find it easy to relate to the film's emotional, touching story. Viewers will connect with the characters through all the stages of their relationship. The movie is an emotional rollercoaster. Although it might not be enjoyable for very young audiences, teenagers and adults will find "Like Crazy" an ideal movie for a date night or an evening out with friends.