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Like Crazy: The joy and heartache of young love

Now, Doremus just needed to cast his 20-something lovers. Anton Yelchin immediately came to mind, and was quickly cast as Jacob. Finding a suitable lover for Yelchin proved more difficult. Doremus had tested countless numbers of actresses with Anton, but something seemed to be missing. Then, he received an audition tape from beautiful British actress Felicity Jones, acting out a pivotal and poignant moment in the film. Doremus was utterly mesmerized, and immediately cast her as Anna without meeting her or doing any kind of screen-test with Yelchin. Yelchin and Jones would have a week to get to know each other before filming would commence.

Doremus encouraged his actors to bring their own personal experiences to their roles and allowed them to improvise much of their own dialogue. Doremus shot much of the film in chronological order using a Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera. A technique that allows the film to capture the true essence of young love, making us feel as if we are a fly on the wall during the most intimate of moments.

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Like Crazy, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011, is a wonderfully creative and emotionally raw film, filled with fully fleshed out characters, that takes the typical boy-meets-girl premise, found in a myriad of films throughout history, and turns it upside down.

From the first moment she laid eyes upon Jacob in English class, Anna was crazy in love. So much so, that she wrote him a lengthy love letter and placed it on his windshield. Jacob flattered by this grand gesture agrees to meet up for coffee. Sparks fly, and the two quickly fall in love.

Things are going so well that Anna, who cannot bear the thought of leaving Jacob for the summer, decides to overstay her student visa. Later, after returning home to London for her cousins wedding, Anna returns to Los Angeles, where she is detained by immigration officials. She is barred from entering the country. As Anna battles with immigration officials to lift her ban, Anna and Jacob must decide if a long distance relationship is worth their time and effort.

Doremus, with the help of cinematographer John Guleserian and film editor Jonathan Alberts, tenderly guides us through every facet of love from the magical early stages, where everything seems to be perfect, to the more complicated stages, where the freshness of the relationship has subsided. Doremus does this by using a series of stunning visuals ranging from the early still montage of Anna and Jacob lying in bed together throughout the summer, to the shot of Anna standing alone, motionless in an airport, while the filmmakers fast-forward the movements of the people around her, stressing that while time elapses around her, time feels like it is at a standstill for Anna.

The acting is phenomenal. The perfect chemistry between Yelchin and Jones allows them to flawlessly capture the joy and pain of young love. Jones, winner of the Special Jury Prize for Acting at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011, is extraordinary as Anna. Jones brings a certain warmth and passion to her role. Yelchin, on the other hand, is much more subdued and soft-spoken as Jacob. Jennifer Lawrence is terrific as Sam, a work associate Jacob gets involved with. Charlie Bewley is good as Simon, Annas neighbor in London, who Anna begins spending more and more time with. Oliver Muirhead and Alex Kingstonare are kind as Annas rum loving parents, who just want their daughter to be happy. Finola Hughes is wonderful as Annas boss, at a London based magazine, who sees a lot of her younger self in Anna.

Dustin OHalloran gives the film a graceful, heart-wrenching score. The film also features a great eclectic soundtrack. Standouts include: I Guess I'm Floating, by M83; Crazy Love, Vol. II, by Paul Simon; and Dead Hearts, by Stars.

Like Crazy is a remarkably refreshing take on the romance genre, and one that stresses love is a volatile thing that requires a lot of hard work, and can only be successful if both parties are ready and willing to put the time and effort into making it work.

(Like Crazy is rated PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language. It is available on Netflix's streaming service.)

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 04/05/2021


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