Like Crazy (2011)
Dir: Drake Doremus
I don’t know if the characters are exactly acting crazily… but they are annoyingly impatient!
This is a romantic drama, with two students (Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin) falling in love, however one of them is on a student visa in the U.S. from the U.K. and so cannot stay forever. However she outstays her visa, which causes the two of them a whole load of problems for the future years as they at times fight hard to be together, yet keep drifting apart.
This film has lots of little elements that I liked and appreciated, such as characters with a love of good whiskey, some people with my surname (spelt in exactly the same uncommon way), and the lovely Jennifer Lawrence. The bigger elements of the film were also very good, like how in most romances we see the two lovers lives separately at first and know that their meeting and getting together will inevitably happen, whereas this gets right into it with them seen together in the first scene and on their first date by the fourth. Normally a romantic film has the question of ‘when will they get together?’ or sometimes ‘will they get together?’ both of which are inevitabilities. The more difficult thought of, ‘will they get back together?’
The dialogue was all improvised throughout the film, which shows a great level of skill, both from the actors who have to say things that fit their characters, and also the writer/director Drake Doremus who then has to make all that work in telling the intended story. In this case the improvised dialogue works really well, especially seen in the leads first date which feels truly awkward complete with genuine-feeling nervous laughter and little ‘thinking’ pauses. It also works especially well as the two lovers keep getting separated by one being in the states nad the other in England, so whenever they are reunited it again feels awkward and stilted which I imagine is an impression much enhanced by the difficulty of improvising the lines on the spot.
Also, with this sort of storyline that involves visa issues, the answer is almost always that they get married so that they get a marriage visa and the problem is solved. Brilliantly we see here that it’s not that simple, there’s no quick eloping or coy proposal, that suggestion (which we know the viewer is expecting and probably shouting at the screen) is brought up at the dinner table by her father in such a way that suggests it merely as a financially and technically efficient solution rather than a beautiful romantic gesture.
I’m not going to spoil the ending, how we get there though is not simple or straightforward, and I found it hugely infuriating that it’s unclear whether they should be together or not and whether or not to root for their union, which made it surprisingly engrossing.
Click on the poster above for the trailer.