Today: April 13, 2024
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Like Crazy

All the pop songs of the eighties couldn’t completely conclude what it’s like to be in a relationship that, for powers beyond your control, does not work.

All the pop songs of
the eighties couldn’t completely conclude what it’s like to be in a
relationship that, for powers beyond your control, does not work.
It’s a
miserable situation that if you have not been at the brink of yourself, you’ve
instead endured hours of listening as your friends or siblings recount their
own failed attempts at love or their perception of it at least. It’s a wholly
depressing subject and one that can easily come across as, if not
suicide-inducing, at least whiny and pitiful.

To avoid a feature-length encounter of attractive mopiness,
director Drake Doremus replaces the Deschanels and Ceras of the heartbreak genre with a couple of humble, even
likeable new(ish) stars. Anton Yelchin’s
(Jacob) deer-like presence and inability to grow proper facial hair make him
the kind but blemished sort of character you would easily sit next to on the
number 73 bus.

The object of Jacob’s affections is Felicity Jones’ Anna. Attractive but not overwhelmingly so,
cautiously sincere and determined without being irritating, Jones is the one to
sit up and take notice of, this is undoubtedly her film. There’s no time wasted
in pushing the two together (unsurprisingly Jones’ Anna is the instigator) and
for the first chapter of the relationship we look into a gloriously normal
development, sappy slush muted to focus on the bonds between the two.

Where similar films have over-saturated the story with an
adorable soundtrack or quirky cinematography, Doremus instead opts for the
location as the third person of the relationship, hosting the events
responsible for the beginning and demise of Anna and Jacob’s romance. LA and
London in turn are presented as a catalyst for submission into blinding
infatuation, separation and painful compromise, Doremus and co writer Ben York Jones’ script promoting a
dignified honesty in the grim acceptance that adoration simply won’t do it when
it comes to distance.

A well chosen supporting cast help ease and heighten the
bumps in the road; Jennifer Lawrence
is lovely as the unfortunate filler girlfriend and Alex Kingston and Oliver
Muirhead
are just fine as Anna’s well intentioned parents. The final throes
are the personification of bittersweet; not quite the tragic ideals of The Graduate or the sweeping romance of
contemporary love films, but a decent bare conclusion that is as relatable as
those involved in it. A warm but sensible approach to love and everything that
crashes along with it, Like Crazy dapples in affection without plunging the
viewer into syrupy submission and cuts through the mulch of its predecessors
admirably.

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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