Director: Drake Doremus
Screenwriters: Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones
Runtime: 90 mins.
Australian release date: 1 March 2012
Like Crazy is a thoroughly believable, if not ordinary romantic drama, which will have legs, judging by the twenty somethings’ reaction during the preview screening. Brit Girl, Anna (Felicity Jones), meets American boy Jacob (Anton Yelchin), whilst studying in LA and overstays her visa only to have the immigration authorities wave their big bossy paperwork at her when she tries to return to the USA at a later date.
OMG, like, I was not surprised and it was the curiosity factor that kept me like in my seat for the next 90 minutes! However, I should not be so judgemental, as in fact, it turned out to be not bad at all. Drake Doremus (Spooner, Douchebag, Moonpie) - and I’m not kidding! - has managed to reap fine performances from his leading actors who improvised much of the dialogue. And it shows, because the performances are very natural and the actors are both very watchable.
Throw in a couple of parents (curiously only on Anna’s side) who are middle-aged and a bit batty (in a nice comfy British kind of way) and you have decent back-up. There’s supportive mother, Jackie (Alex Kingston, who you may recognize as River Song from Doctor Who), and an equally sympathetic, whiskey-loving father, Bernard (Oliver Muirhead). They act as mediators in a relationship that could be doomed by the tyranny of distance.
The close-up cinematography by John Guleserian is well-balanced by some deft editing by Jonathon Alberts, who uses a few jump cuts and fades-to-black to move things along at a ripping pace. The story does show a period of about seven years and covers a swag of emotional highs and lows. It is not surprising that Like Crazy won best film for US drama at Sundance and even less surprising that Felicity Jones received a Special Jury Award for best actress. If you want to experience a very modern romance and one that I’m sure a few people will identify with, then do yourself a favour and catch this at the cinema. It would be lost on a small screen as often smaller films lose their impact in a confined space. Like Crazy is worth stepping out for.