Just saw it at the Sundance Film Festival here in Park City, Utah.'Like Crazy' is a love story about the ups and the downs, the euphoria, the heartache, and the sacrifices. For those who don't know the plot, basically a British student, Anna, falls for Jacob, an American student. They fall for each other right away, and spend the summer together. However, she violates the stay of her student visa, and when she tries to return to L.A., she is denied. Thus, our two lovers are separated by distance and multiple levels of bureaucracy that prove to be most unfair. Can they make it work, and should they? Some have compared it to '500 Days of Summer,' and there are a few similarities. The major difference is the lack of any unique narrative devices and that it is, in fact, a love story. First and foremost, let me say that Felicity Jones as Anna is a revelation. She owns the screen and was utterly charming and devastatingly beautiful. There's a scene in the first 10 minutes after they spend their first evening together, and they sit on her bed, and a sense of tension but young awkwardness that fills the room. When the conversation falters out, she gives him a look that was filled with such delicate longing; fueled by the power of young love and the possibilities before them. It was in this moment that Anna, and Felicity, won me over. The chemistry between her and her co-star Anton was realistic and powerful. Much of the film was improvised; the director said he would often leave the camera rolling for twenty to thirty minutes at a time just to capture them together. It shows. I felt myself hoping and wishing for them to work it all out, to end up together.
The music is fantastic. It provides the heartbeat to the film and is a wonderful compliment. It's well edited - the film ultimately takes place over what seems to be a couple of years. Unlike early versions of the film, title cards have been removed and a series of jump cuts progresses the time. You have to pay close attention at times to have a firm grasp on the passage of time. There are moments when they are happy and together that are so iconic. Walking the streets of London, at times they looked like the cover of a Bob Dylan cover. Quick cuts of them together whether in LA or London are quite beautiful.
This film was obviously made based on real experiences, and the filmmakers admitted that it was the combination of many of their experiences. It's a realistic film. Things aren't easy. You will smile and laugh and other times feel just as much despair as our characters. There are no easy answers in this film, and your ultimate interpretation and perhaps enjoyment of the film depends on what you bring to the table, and your feelings on love, and just how much you believe in it. This film should make Felicity Jones a star in the way that 'An Education' benefited Carey Mulligan.