I finally got around to watching Like Crazy a short while ago after originally regretting missing the screenings of it in my then local Contemporary Art Centre’s little cinema. Most films that are graced with a couple of Sundance Film Festival awards, which this got for a best picture as well as a best actress award for Felicity Jones, are natural winners for me. I enjoy the actual aesthetics of the more independent style of filming and the avoidance of the clichés which so often exist in Hollywood Blockbusters.
For this reason I should have realised that this was not going to be a typical, predictable love story. If you want an idea of the plot, you can watch the trailer here, but it basically follows a young couple who are utterly besotted with each other but end up separated by the Atlantic Ocean along with other some other unfortunate circumstances. Having experienced the pains of a long distance relationship over a two year period (although not over two different continents, thankfully!) I thought that I would empathise with the characters. I’m also a sucker for a sad film, with my favourite film of all time being Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, and the actual trailer for this one had me in tears- don’t judge me, I have a bad case of pregnancy hormones right now!
However, this was just outright miserable and so frustrating. The situation they land themselves in is completely avoidable and the entire relationship seems pretty forced by Felicity Jones’ character. The end is definitely one of the most hopeless I have ever experienced. Even if the plot was punctured with very sweet, sentimental moments this really didn’t make up for how utterly depressing the entire film was.
Highlights of the film, which there had to be otherwise I most certainly would have turned it off, included the beautiful shooting. Especially any outdoor scenes, specifically one where the young couple walk along the beach, where the creators of the film really utilised the natural lighting. Every scene seemed to have a softness to it because of the lighting and general tonality of every setting and outfit. And speaking of the styling, Felicity Jones’ wedding look was a highlight by itself for me. This one thing made me happier than any other event in the entire film, particularly more so than the fact that such a disastrous couple were actually getting married.
Another upside was the really great soundtrack which consists of some really great contemporary artists’ songs intermingled with beautiful instrumentals by Dustin O’Hallaran. Weeks on and I’m still listening to Ingrid Michaelson’s cover of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love With You on repeat, which is the song they featured on the trailer.
Even with all of these good points, I still cannot forgive the story line of Like Crazy. I found it quite similar to Blue Valentine in the sense that it’s one of those films which is advertised as really romantic and then ends up being a total misery-fest. Overall, I certainly won’t be watching it again and I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else, unless they happen to be emotionally masochistic.