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TIFF’11 Review: Like Crazy

September 21, 2011 — 1 Comment

Like Crazy is a nice film. If that sounds like dryly damning praise, then I guess that would be my general feeling toward the film. It really is nice. It’s got some beautiful moments, a tender romance, some sad heartbreak, and generally it’s very well shot and put together. And that’s about it. There is little power in the film beyond being quite nice.

The main reason Like Crazy doesn’t become transcendent is that it feels wholly constructed. The film moves from one plot point to the next, not only in obvious ways, but without much genuine feeling. Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones play the couple in the film, and throughout the course of their journey they get together in a ridiculously idealized whirlwind of romance, and then they are split apart due to issues with student visas, and then they  get back together and split apart again and get back together again. And then it’s over.

Nothing in the film is particularly surprising, but worse than that, by the end of the story I’m not sure I even cared for these two people or their coupling. In fact, of all the characters in the film, I felt the most for the two people they date when they aren’t together. Jennifer Lawrence’s character in particular gets jerked around by Yelchin in such a way that I kind of resented everything about him. It plays out like a classic case of “fool me once, fool me twice”, but I could not help feeling badly for Lawrence.

Yelchin and Jones are both very good in Like Crazy, but the film does little more than play like a full-length, and somehow less emotive version of its trailer. In fact, the trailer did, and still does, make me want to cry. By the end of the actual movie I really didn’t feel much of anything at all. Like I said, it’s a nice film, but not much more.