‘Like Crazy’ Student Movie Review
There are certain films that stick with you; films that, for whatever reason, stay fixated in your mind long after you have departed the theater (or home television, if you choose). For me, Taxi Driver comes to mind. So does Blue Velvet. And Requiem For A Dream. And Magnolia. There is Forrest Gump, The Thin Red Line, Apocalypse Now, Midnight Cowboy and Vertigo, among others. I am sure everyone has a different list and chooses their list for their own special reason.
it’s a film that has resonated with you in some way on a very real and personal level, and no matter how hard you try you can’t get it out of your head.
These films acquire this quality not necessarily because they are the best, or the biggest award-winner, or the most visually stunning. And it’s not necessarily because they are intellectually or spiritually profound. It doesn’t always have something to do with genre or subject matter or a powerful acting performance. And it does not always mean it is one of your quote “favorites.” It can be all of these things, and it can be none of them. You could call it a classic, or timeless; or uniquely original. Quite frankly, you can call it whatever you want. The bottom line is that it’s a film that has resonated with you in some way on a very real and personal level, and no matter how hard you try you can’t get it out of your head. Like Crazy did that for me.
Like Crazy is a naturalistic, uncompromising look a relationship that is both lovely and bittersweet; like a sweet fruit dipped in chocolaty melancholy. The focus of the story is on the evolution of a couple over a period of a couple of years. Jacob, a grad assistant, exits class on the last day of the semester and at his car window finds a hand written note, as well as a phone number, from a girl in his class. Her name is Anna. He meets her for coffee, they chat for a bit and thus is the genesis of a beautiful relationship. However, unlike most films of this genre, the focus in the narrative is not the early stages and the building of a romantic association; it is the sustainability of one.
‘Like Crazy’ Trailer
Anna is from England. After she graduates her student visa expires. She violates the rules of the visa and stays in the U.S. an extra two months. Because of this infringement, she is banned from the U.S. for an extended, unknown period of time until they will give her permission to return. It is this event that creates the conflict. And it is this conflict that forces them to ask important questions. Can they stay together for an extended period of time while living on separate continents? How do you maintain a relationship? Do they call every day? Financially can they afford to keep visiting each other? Can they see and date other people? How long do they wait for each other without interfering with the progression of their lives? These are all important questions many of us have had to face at some point. And none of them really have a right or wrong answer.
What I like most about this movie is that it does not succumb to the traps and pitfalls of most romantic comedies/dramas. Rather than give you relationship clichés and exclusively cheesy, plot oriented situations, the director instead chooses to show you the intimate, minute details. The nitty-gritty, if you will. He reminds us of the stuff we usually take for granted, but nevertheless it is these small particulars that we inevitably look back on with a nostalgic eye. The director reminds us that, when looking back on relationships and friendships, usually the little moments carry just as much weight than the big ones, if not more.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the film is that it is shot on a pretty low budget. Sometimes a “less is more” approach allows for something really authentic to flourish, and this is certainly the case here. Taking a tip from Terrence Malick, the director uses mostly natural lighting, which gives the cinematography warmth and a look that is organic and genuine. Also, the majority of the shots are done hand-held and are slightly shaky. This gives the film a very raw energy and results in a feel that is very intimate and authentic. In this sense I was often reminded of Pieces of April.
The last ten minutes of the filming are incredibly griping and reflective, and equally devastating.
The last ten minutes of the filming are incredibly griping and reflective, and equally devastating. I don’t want to give away too much away, but the ending might not be exactly what you expect. Though, I will say for the record, I enjoyed the conclusion for its originality and honesty. And really, I enjoyed the entire film for its originality and honesty. Like Crazy helped me to reflect on the fact that sometimes things fall apart. Sometimes we can put them back together and sometimes we can’t. This is true with romances, or even relationships with friends and family members. Still, regardless of what these relations become or don’t become, we can all acknowledge that it is these people that have shaped us and made us who we are. And usually, if it is not too difficult, we can look back on these shared moments with an affectionate smile. I know, I know…I am getting mushy now.
Rotten Tomatoes Gave it a 74%, But I’ll give it an B+
David Ashton | Bright Futura Columnist