Long distance tests love in ‘Like Crazy’

by Isabella Place

 mct campus
mct campus

The struggle inherent in a long-distance relationship is at once deeply straining and powerfully rewarding. If a couple can handle the separation, it often strengthens the relationship: After all, it is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Director Drake Doremus attempts to capture the emotional intricacies of long-distance relationships in his latest film, “Like Crazy.”

The romantic drama took the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and critics are buzzing with positive remarks about the finished product.

A major facet contributing to the film’s success is the amazing on-screen chemistry between the two young stars. Twenty-two-year-old Russian actor Anton Yelchin, better recognized for his breakthrough performance in the film “House of D,” plays Jacob, a recent college graduate pursuing a career in making furniture. British newcomer Felicity Jones portrays Anna, the foreign exchange student who genuinely falls in love with Jacob right before her visa expires.

The plot is somewhat predictable, but the back-and-forth pacing of the scenes sets comfortable suspense throughout the film. Doremus admitted that, with a minimal script, much of the movie was improvised, allowing Jones and Yelchin to make the most of their natural presentations. Supporting actors Jennifer Lawrence and Charlie Bewley also delivered terrific performances and portrayed quite strong alternates to a dysfunctional relationship.

While the acting was brilliant, Jacob and Anna’s selfishness may cause frustration for some audience members. The couple’s blatant disregard for immigration laws in the name of love caused several easily avoidable problems. As exasperating as the decision was, it drove the plot forward and created more obstacles for Jacob and Anna to overcome. If anything, Doremus was brave to present this far-too-common scenario as a hard lesson in love.

“Like Crazy” seems to be a uniquely interactive movie to watch in theaters. Audience members should not be shy away from expressing their feelings in the theater as the relationship grows and fails.

Ultimately, viewers may leave the theater disappointed they didn’t see more. The next phase in the relationship remains a mystery. However, generalizations as to what will happen, or at least what should happen, between Jacob and Anna can be predicted. The ending actually challenges viewers to test their own relationship dilemmas after living vicariously through these characters. Chances are, any college student who has been in a long-distance relationship will see traces of himself or herself in this film. Be pleasantly forewarned: This isn’t “The Notebook.” This is one of the finest “real” films and it will develop quite the connection among the college-aged crowd.

For more information visit likecrazy.com.