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Like Crazy (AF)


Stars: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, Alex Kingston, Oliver Muirhead, Finola Hughes, Chris Messina, Ben York Jones, Jamie Thomas King

Director: Drake Doremus

Rather too many Sundance Film Festival ‘darlings’ turn out to be less than meets the eye. Not so with co-writer/director Doremus’ charming and unpretentious romantic drama which, without really breaking new ground, nevertheless succeeds very well on its own terms, thanks to the combination of a credible screenplay, direction directed at telling the story rather than trying to demonstrate auteurship and, particularly, two genuinely believable and moving central performances by Yelchin and Jones.

The story is simple. Englishwoman Jones meets fellow student Yelchin at college in Los Angeles, they date and become lovers. Until, that is, Jones’s student visa runs out and she has to return to London. Unfortunately she has violated her visa by overstaying her American sojourn. And in trying to carry on their romance in separate countries, almost inevitably Jones and Yelchin find their relationship becoming more and more strained…

The combination of genuinely likeable characters in believable situations, allied with really moving performances and a happy lack of pretentiousness gives ‘Like Crazy’ rather more emotional depth than its storyline might suggest. Santa Monica and London locations effectively establish the perils of a long distance romance while for those looking for a (probably non-existent) more serious subtext than young love, it would doubtless be feasible to claim ‘Like Crazy’ as a metaphor for Anglo-American relations rather than as the charming, sensitive and ultimately moving romantic drama it actually is.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
90 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 23 Jan 2012