Like Crazy is the closest thing we are going to get to (500) Days of Summer‘s refreshingly unique “story about love” for a long time.
Upon leaving class one day, Jacob (Anton Yelchin, Star Trek) finds a unlikely love letter under his windshield wiper blade from classmate Anna (Felicity Jones, The Tempest), an attractive British student attending his U.S. university on a student visa. Confidently, Jacob calls her and the two set out on the most well-made “first date” sequences since Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
The mix of their two personality types blend perfectly. Jacob is a designer, creatively and analytically thinking; Anna is a writer, able to poetically express pure emotion. His ability to understand her every thought and feeling inspires him to create, both the tangible and intangible, things for her, which stirs up the emotions that fuel her writing. The word “perfect” describes their relationship and the deeper they get into it, the better it gets.
As Anna approaches graduation and the end of her visa, she and Jacob begin to plan out the rest of their lives together. Anna will return home on the last day of her visa and apply for a work visa, hoping to come back to Los Angeles three months later. Jacob will continue to build business in his custom furniture shop, awaiting her return.
But when the two take one last getaway to Catalina Island prior to her departure, Anna makes a decision that throws a wrench in the gears that will forever change what they have – she doesn’t go home, overstaying her American welcome. It isn’t until months later that Anna returns home for her sister’s wedding.
After Anna week-long trip to England, upon re-entering the United States, she is rejected for breaching the terms of her student visa. Turned away and sent home, Anna and Jacob begin the undesirable “long distance relationship,” putting everything they ever had to the ultimate test.
Both fairly newcomers to mainstream cinema, Yelchin and Jones are very strong young actors. As intense as the love story gets, Like Crazy would be impossible without actors of their caliper. Unfortunately, their acting isn’t the only thing gaugeable in the film. While the screenplay is brilliantly refreshing, it lags on just a tad too long, causing it to feel redundant and stretched. But even with that said, know that the small problem with the writing is the only problem with Like Crazy.
Just after its premiere at Sundance, Like Crazy was picked up for distribution by Paramount Pictures, meaning that everyone across America will soon have the opportunity to enjoy it.
Photo credit: Fred Hayes