DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: SUNDANCE 2011 - Like Crazy

Sunday 23 January 2011

SUNDANCE 2011 - Like Crazy

Like Crazy (2011) dir. Drake Doremus
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, Alex Kingston, Oliver Muirhead


By Alan Bacchus

It’s been three days and us writers waiting in line of the P&I screenings are constantly trying to figure out the ’it’ film of the year. It may have just arrived Drake Doremus’ epic romantic bittersweet journey of love.

Anna and Jacob are in love. They meet in the first scene in a college class, follow each other home, hang out, giggle, hold hands, eat, play around, maybe they kiss, maybe they don’t. Either way they are hopelessly in love. Oh what bliss, what could possible separate them? Well, Anna is British on a school visa, which of course will run out. But she’s a romantic and nothing can stop her from being with her man. So she stays in the US to stay in bed and make love for two months.

She can’t escape reality though and it comes crashing down when Homeland Security detains her for violating her visa after a brief trip back home to the UK. Now, it’s a long distance relationship with the US government separating them. Thus begins the rollercoaster ride of love, the ups and downs of Anna and Jacob - like Going the Distance made by Michael Winterbottom.

After the opening act, Doremus puts his cynical hat on and tests our ability to believe that these two should be together. So are we watching Blue Valentine? Or (500) Days of Summer? Doremus keeps us on edge at all times. Anna flirts with other boys back home, so does Jacob, but their I-phones always connect them. Doremus constantly oscillates between these extremes of love struck pit of your stomach romance and the agonizing missteps, miscommunications which road blocks us between love. Just when we think they’re splits for good all it takes is a short text across the ocean to jumpstart the rollercoaster ride once again.

Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are close to the last word as recent on screen romantics. Doremus’ frequent close-ups connect them like intertwining vines. Whenever they’re in the same space together, on screen, they seem to engage in a graceful sensual dance .

Pitch perfect hip music compliments the new millennium courtship these two are engaged in as well as Winterbottom/Boyle visual aesthetic employed by Doremus. And so, just as I’m close to shooting myself having to constantly hear about the authenticity in the highly overrated Blue Valentine, I can latch onto Like Crazy, the superior antidote to that other film.

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