At the Movies: Like Crazy

Welcome to Mega Movie Madness Week here at the Report. We’ve got movies opening Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday this week, as well as movie awards to hand out, so we might as well make a whole week out of it.

If you’re as sick and tired of reading about movies as I am of writing about them,  I make you this promise: Next week we’ll talk about other stuff. Don’t know what, but I’ll think of something.

Since nothing is opening today, I thought we’d open Mega Movie Madness Week   with a film that’s currently playing in St. Louis but I haven’t had a chance to write about until now.

Like Crazy

I figured, based on the movie poster, that this was either going to be a sappy romance or a silly romcom. While it starts out as a sappy romance, it quickly turns into something more interesting.

Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) are college students — he an American, she on loan from Great Britain. She’s attracted to him and vice versa. They go through the awkward getting-t0-know-you phase but it quickly turns into the heady new love/lust phase.

The semester ends and Anna can’t stand the thought of going back to England and leaving Jacob behind. With his consent, she decides to overstay her visa for a couple of months. Anna eventually goes home for a wedding but then discovers that due to her visa violation she will not be allowed back into the United States. It will take years to work through the red tape, but will Anna’s and Jacob’s love survive the strain?

“Like Crazy” is probably not a good first date movie. Or an any date movie. But it is an intriguing character study about two people who refuse to let their relationship die — even though they would probably be better off if they did.

Yes, they’re both pretty shallow but a lot of young people are. Jacob comes off looking the worst of the two — he’s jealous if Anna even talks to another man but he wastes little time in starting a new relationship while she’s trapped in London. And he refuses to move overseas, which would solve all their problems.

Anna clearly is more in love, or maybe just needier, than Jacob. She clings to their relationship despite many setbacks and even though moving to the U.S. could damage her blossoming career. And Jacob won’t break it off — out of loyalty, perhaps? — even though he seems content with another woman.

“Like Crazy” isn’t a happily-ever-after romance but it feels more real than a lot of romantic movies. Probably because relationships don’t always end happily.

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