Like Crazy

Like Crazy (2011) is an indie film about young love and young lovers.  She’s an English student, he an American one. They fall in love, make one big wrong decision (among many smaller stupid ones), and then get bounced around by the repercussions of the decision.

Felicity Jones as Anna has received the majority of the attention (various “Breakthrough” awards) for her performance, but Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) as Jacob has had his deserved share of attention. She looks a little as if she could eat him for breakfast, but they are almost equal on the screen. I’d recite the plot if it made any difference, but it’s mostly not so much of a plot as a series of plot devices.

What struck me most about the film, aside from the solid acting, was its self-conscious mise-en-scène and near addiction to jump cuts. Sometimes it’s fresh; at other times merely distracting and bumpy. What might interest most of its target audience is the presence of Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence (known to the rest of us as Oscar nominee for Winter’s Bone) in a minor but significant part as Jacob’s other love interest.

Perhaps I’m just getting old, but a part of me wants to screen this for every young person in the target age bracket and say, “See what one stupid decision to not obey the law can do to mess up your life?!” Or, “Look at what happens when you get emotionally and physically involved too early—such complications, such confusion!” The contrivance of the bad decision creates situations that both strain credibility and our tolerance for these two characters. We are set up to believe that this is a great love attacked by circumstances. But it turns out that instead we have a quick, medium-depth love compromised by a stupid decision that’s entirely their fault, and further compromised by a lack of patience, emotional immaturity and a profound inability to think.

About Mark DuPré

Retired (associate) pastor at a Christian church. Retired film professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband for 48+ years to the lovely and talented Diane. Father to three children and father-in-law to three more amazing people. I continue some ministry duties even though retired from the pastoral position. Right now I'm co-writing a book, working on a documentary (screenwriter and assistant director), and creating a serious musical drama (I am writing the book and lyrics).
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