I’ve been crazy about seeing Like Crazy for months, ever since it premiered at Sundance in January to huge amounts of praise. Lucky for me, it had a presentation at the Chicago International Film Festival. And even luckier, the stars and director appeared after for a Q&A. Videos and pictures of the Q&A can be seen at the end of this post.
It’s understandable that I went into this film with high expectations. And I left with those high expectations met but in a different way. In other words, the movie was not what I expected, and I immensely enjoyed it. I almost don’t even want to write this review because I totally believe that this movie is best seen fresh, knowing very little about it. Yet, I will do my very best to describe how I feel about Like Crazy, without hinting at spoilers.
Like Crazy is about a long distance relationship between an English girl, Anna, and American boy, Jacob. The movie begins at the start of their relationship; Anna leaves Jacob a cute and funny love letter, and Jacob asks her on a date. From that very first date, I felt the connection between the two. Casting Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as the leads was perfect. They had such great chemistry. What I also immediately loved was the sparseness of dialogue. Watching Anna and Jacob look at each other, smiling, giggling. There’s an awkward and sweet tension between them which makes it believable.
Part of why this movie is so fascinating is because of how realistic it is. When Anna violates her student visa to stay the summer in LA with Jacob, she gets banned from the country. Separated, Anna and Jacob try to stay connected, break up and try to move on. This movie isn’t out to please audiences. Long distance relationships suck, and writer/director Drake Doremus doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Being young, in love, and apart has its stresses and we can see it on weighing on Anna and Jacob. The entire film shows all the ups and downs of their relationship until we get to that ending. I don’t want to ruin the movie, but let’s just say that I’m still reeling from that last scene.
For a movie filmed in 23 days, it’s very well-filmed. It goes to show that Drake Doremus is definitely a filmmaker to keep an eye on. Besides crafting together a brilliant love story, he filmed it in almost a haunting way. There were many scenes when the characters were talking, and I couldn’t see their faces. Doremus explains why he chose to do that in one of the videos below. And as I said earlier, Jones and Yelchin were spectacularly cast. They were able to realistically convey their characters changing emotions. It was hard to doubt what they were feeling. Jones gave Anna an adorably dorky and lovely charm. Yelchin was serious, but always sincere as Jacob. I honestly can’t rave enough about those two.
From the trailer, Like Crazy looked like a sentimental tearjerker. It’s not really. This isn’t the typical Nicholas Sparks romantic drama that Hollywood spits out to us every year. While it’s very emotionally powerful, I didn’t cry. I very much wanted to after I left, but I couldn’t because I was too busy thinking about how scary and fickle love can be. When was the last time a romantic drama asked you to think? That’s what I found so unexpectedly great about Like Crazy, and I hope you do too.
Like Crazy releases into US theaters on October 28th.
Q&A with stars Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones & director/writer Drake Doremus.
WARNING: The video contains some spoilers. If you want to remain spoil-free, I suggest waiting to watch the videos after you see the film.
Here are some pictures and video I took of the Q&A. I will admit that this wasn’t the very best Q&A. There wasn’t a proper moderator, and some of the audience questions weren’t too great. However, I tried to capture the most interesting tidbits. Enjoy!
To see more picture from the Q&A, click here to see them on our Facebook page!
The cast and director of Like Crazy discuss filming, the topic of immigration, success of the film, production design, comical bits and more.
The cast and director discuss improv, the music in the film, and the best and hardest parts of shooting this movie.
Thank you for reading and watching!