Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Felicity Jones
Anton Yelchin
Jennifer Lawrence
Charlie Bewley.
Directors
Drake Doremus.
Screenwriters
Drake Doremus
Ben York Jones.
Running Time
90 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Vacation
2 Star Empire Rating
Strange Magic
2 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Love
3 Star Empire Rating
Pressure
3 Star Empire Rating
Misery Loves Comedy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Like Crazy
Blue valentine


submit to reddit


Plot
British exchange student Anna (Jones) and classmate Jacob (Yelchin) fall in love while he's spending a semester in LA. However, a visa snafu sees them forced to conduct their relationship at a distance of 6,000 miles and, as careers and other people become more important, cracks begin to appear.


Review
Like Crazy
Drake Doremus' 2011 Sundance winner has rightly added to the increasing noise surrounding Felicity Jones (Chalet Girl, Northanger Abbey). Here she’s Anna, a single malt-loving British girl in LA who falls hard for fellow student Jacob (Anton Yelchin), only for the pair to find their heady relationship soon under threat thanks to the tiresome demands of the immigration services. Faced with separation, Anna makes an impetuous but, in her view, inevitable decision — lie low and believe that the rightness of their union will see them through.

Of course, it doesn’t, and the authorities catch up with our (to their minds) star-cross’d lovers, as they always will. It’s a variation on a theme that’s powered drama for centuries, yet Like Crazy has a freshness and subtle wit that makes Doremus’ examination of first love offer something if not new, still achingly nostalgic but also wryly knowing (Alex Kingston and Oliver Muirhead’s modern parents are wonderful). It’s a neat approach that calls to mind Before Sunset’s position that how you view that love story will reflect you as much as the events therein, but here we find ourselves taking both positions, thrilling to the intensity of their passion then nodding sagely as the strain begins to show.

The success of this bifocal view lies largely in a strong note of authenticity, aided by the fact Jones and Yelchin improvised much of the dialogue. They’re an engaging couple, and it’s fun to watch them fall in love — a first date listening to records in their digs, being all grown-up as they take a weekend away in a coastal B&B, even if it’s soured (a clever touch) by Anna’s looming flight home.

It means that when ‘fate’ forces them apart and other people come into view, we’re as unsettled as they are. Jennifer Lawrence shines as Jacob’s new interest, sweet, sassy, kind, understanding, guilty only of being possibly the right girl at definitely the wrong time. Charlie Bewley’s Simon, a City hot shot in stark contrast to Jacob’s struggling carpenter, influences Anna in ways that on paper can only be good (less booze, more exercise, ditch the cigs), but still we bristle. And yet when our heroes are reunited, the hearts and flowers are distressingly hidden from view. It’s as if we’re finding out what might have happened had Romeo and Juliet overcome their raging hormones and lived to bicker about car tax and the remote.

As with Richard Linklater’s genre classics, Like Crazy ends on an ambiguous note — though arguably romantics will suffer more keenly at its sad-sweet implications.


Verdict
Felicity Jones shines in Drake Doremus’ deceptively simple romance, a refreshing take on an age-old dilemma.


Reviewed by Liz Beardsworth

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Black Mass Trailer Breakdown With Director Scott Cooper
Find out what's what with Johnny Depp's take on Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Read Empire's official verdict

Empire Meets Joely Richardson
On Maggie, Arnie and Event Horizon

100 Greatest Movie Characters
The complete list of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

Vote Now For Your Favourite TV Shows
Pick your top five - if you can...

Paul Rudd Is Awesome
Being awesome: from Clueless to Ant-Man

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)