Not so crazy about Like Crazy

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Not so crazy about Like Crazy

It’s a little film with a big reputation.  “Like Crazy” is a Sundance Film Festival multi-award winner.  But when I was asked by the studio reps for feedback after watching the trailer, I had to tell them that I was not impressed.  As a matter of fact, I was bored.  But after seeing the aggressive publicity machine (I was offered a chance to lunch with the writer/director Drake Doremus and lead actress Felicity Jones) and reading some positive reviews by ordinary folk on IMDB I decided I should give the movie a chance.  Maybe I was wrong?  Well I got to tell you, my trailer instincts are almost never wrong.  Hate the trailer, hate the movie.  Sadly, my gut instincts were right on the money once again.

“Like Crazy” chronicles the lives of two college students who fall madly in love.  As all young people in love so often do, they made one fatal mistake:  they thought it was going to last forever.  But the girl is a British exchange student and when she gets kicked out of the country for a visa violation, the two get so desperate to continue their relationship that they get married.  And so begins the struggle to keep a long distance marriage afloat.

The movie has some very positive things going for it.  The performances from Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are strong, though Jennifer Lawrence has no trouble stealing the show with only a couple of brief scenes.  “Like Crazy” is well shot and edited in a cinema verite style that gives the movie a very intimate feel.  But the movie is dreadfully slow and in the end is goes nowhere, much like the young lovers’ relationship.

You know, the audience I viewed “Like Crazy” with laughed frequently throughout.  The movie is not a comedy.  Frankly, I’m not quite sure why they were laughing.  The movie is not so bad that you would laugh at it, it’s just boring.  Not to say there isn’t an audience for this.  I think young girls suffering break-up angst would love it.  I can just see Bridget Jones with a tub of ice cream wallowing in it on a lonely Saturday night.  But why any self respecting man would sit through this much less be the one to write and produce it is totally beyond me.

I might have liked this movie a little more, or at least would admire it for its style, if I had not already seen two others that do it so much better.  I highly recommend other Sundance Film Festival winners “Once” and “Paper Heart”.  “Once” is a gritty Irish love musical and “Paper Heart” is a quirky, charming comical take on young love.  There’s not a boring breath in either of those movies I guarantee you.  And a whole lot more emotion.

“Like Crazy” elopes with 2&1/2 Red Vines for an earnest effort

LADIES ROOM LOWDOWN:  Two women patiently waited for the their turn to tell the studio rep their opinion:  “We hated the ending.”

A preview of this movie was provided to me by the studio but it in no way affects my unbiased review.