To be honest, the main reason I wanted to watch the romantic drama “Like Crazy” was because I really liked the song that plays during the trailer as the backdrop to scenes of a couple walking around dreamy Los Angeles together holding hands (for the record, Ingrid Michaelson’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” one of the greatest covers of all time).
However, soon into the movie it is discovered that those whimsical scenes of the main characters, college student Jacob and London transfer Anna, are a bit deceiving. The couple meet and fall madly in love when Anna is in California studying abroad, but when she refuses to leave Jacob and return home after her student visa expires upon graduation, she is deported and their futures are thrown into a state of messy unknowing.
“Like Crazy” is not your typical romance film in that it is completely realistic – not every relationship’s problem can be resolved in two hours and not everything works out perfectly just because a love for someone is strong enough to be turned into a Celine Dion ballad. It is clear that Jacob and Anna love each other very much, and the audience falls in love with the almost too-good-to-be-true couple themselves. However, being twenty-somethings just out of college trying to find their place in the world – on top of being an entire continent apart for the majority of the film – Jacob and Anna just can’t seem to find the right timing. Eventually the two split and date other people, only to reunite, only to split again, and so on and so on, as Anna struggles to regain her visa.
Even with the spot-on script, “Like Crazy” could have become another cheesy Lifetime movie if the acting wasn’t of equal caliber. Luckily, Jacob and Anna are portrayed by two of the finest young actors working today, Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. The intensity between the pair is so strong that watching their interactions feels less like watching a movie and more like prying through someone’s window. As an added bonus, pre-“Hunger Games” Jennifer Lawrence makes an appearance.
“Like Crazy” is definitely one of the most memorable love stories from the past decade, and it sticks with you in ways “The Notebook” or “Dear John” wishes it could. I rate it 4.5/5 stars.