January 12, 2015

Like Crazy

Drake Doremus, 2011
Complications involving a revoked student visa separates couple Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones), leaving Anna stuck in England and Jacob in Los Angeles.

Like Crazy works with some real romantic elements, largely due to Felicity Jones' layered performance. She is not only easy on the eyes she is loaded with on-screen charisma. You get a sense of her thought process, her intentions, her struggles. But there seems to be an overt miscast on the part of Yelchin with the Jacob character. His character largely falls flat and therefore affects the overall weight of their relationship dynamic. You can't help but wonder how the film would have played out if they had someone more able, like a Miles Teller or an Ansel Elgort in the role. Somehow these two women are pining over a guy who really doesn't bring a lot to the relationship other than carpentry skills and a love for Paul Simon records. When Anna spots him for the first time and shows interest in him, she shows vulnerability and honesty by showing him her writing. Not once does he go on any kind of tangent that brings you into his head. Instead he's the guy always looking at his phone, you know the guy that you have had in social situations who sits at one end of the table looking down all night while all of your friends are having a good time engaged in lively conversation. On the subject of the phone, there is a glaring lack of internet in the film that seems more convenient to the overall story than it does feel realistic. Anna is forced to return to her native UK because of the visa issue. But it seems like it only takes a short period of time before she is right back into the flow of everyday life without Jacob present. Yes, there is a time difference between Los Angeles and London. But it's 8 hours. So, you call in the morning on your way to work and she's on her way home. Or, you call at 11PM and it's 7AM on the other side. Or you use Facebook like everybody else is doing in 2011. This is getting nit-picky, but it just feels like they are two people that possess smartphones but have a total inability to communicate with each other without the one calling drunk late at night while the other person is in a deep sleep. To be fair, there are certainly some good shots in this movie. When they spend the summer together and there's the flash montage of them laying in bed together. The balcony on Catalina Island. There's just not enough meat on the bones of the love story, and the miscasting and poor editing outweigh the rather good cinematography and score.

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