LIKE CRAZY. Starring Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Alex Kingston, Jennifer Lawrence. Directed by Drake Doremus. 90 minutes. Rated M (Infrequent coarse language and sex scene).
One of those particularly American titles that can be quite offputting. That should not be a reason for not seeing this film. However, a warning is in order. This is a film about young adults, falling in love, coping with separation, and not coping, leading to reconciliation which the ending leaves open for various interpretations (like that of the reviewer who told me that I was absolutely wrong in how I understood the characters and their behaviour).
One of the film’s big advantages is that Felicity Jones (British) and Anton Yelchin (American) play the couple. They are both emerging as talented young performers. She was in Brideshead Revisited and was Chalet Girl. He has appeared in a wide range of films from Star Trek to The Beaver, as Mel Gibson’s son.
We meet them first, studying in Los Angeles. She is a writer. He designs furniture. They hit it off (like crazy, I suppose, though the real craziness has yet to appear). Then the fatal mistake which parental adults in the audience will wring their hands over. Her visa has a limited time – will she overstay? Despite warnings and her own seeming common sense, she stays. Which, of course, leads to the drama of the rest of the film. How will they maintain their relationship at a distance? He can come to England but, despite appeals, she cannot enter the US after she is turned back.
The distance, and the presence of significant others, means that true love is on, well, let’s say it, a crazy path. Years pass. There are complications, including a wedding in London. She thrives in her job and is promoted. He builds up an important company.
We are left with the question of whether they will stay together after all the years and the experiences which have changed them. Depends, I suppose, on how you view human nature.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.
Out March 1, 2011.