More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.88%
Worth A Look: 5.88%
Average: 41.18%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap47.06%

2 reviews, 5 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Day of the Beast, The by Jay Seaver

Transference: A Love Story by Erik Childress

Thunder Force by Peter Sobczynski

Voyagers by Peter Sobczynski

Flaming Brothers by Jay Seaver

French Exit by Lybarger

Perdita Durango by Jay Seaver

Godzilla vs. Kong by Peter Sobczynski

Charlatan by Jay Seaver

Nobody (2021) by Lybarger

subscribe to this feed

Like Crazy (2011)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Jay Seaver

"Pretty good, though not crazy good."
3 stars

First love can burn very bright but not be that complicated, and since that's what "Like Crazy" is about, it makes a bit of sense for it to have a certain shallowness about it as well. The question is whether the movie demonstrates this sort of unconditional affection or whether it falls victim to it, even when the audience may be ready for more.

The two young lovers start out as students at a Los Angeles college. Anna (Felicity Jones) is a journalism major from England; Jacob (Anton Yelchin) is a local studying furniture design. They connect and fall hard for each other, and when Anna's student visa expires, she stays for the summer before returning home for a family wedding. The government is not particularly flexible about this sort of thing, though, and she's deported before Jacob can pick her up. Her parents (Alex Kingston, Oliver Muirhead) hire a lawyer to help sort things out, but in the meantime, a long-distance relationship can be a fragile thing.

The movie has a lot going for it, most obviously Felicity Jones. Anna is a part that would be very easy to oversell; she's got to be smart and passionate but also very immature at times. That immaturity is not exaggerated, though, so it's something that the audience recognizes as it starts to recede. It's quite the charming performance, all the more so because we get a chance to discover Anna's flaws without ever being pushed to turn on her.

Anton Yelchin is quite good as well, though in some ways Jacob is a more reactive part than Anna. He's very good at responding in character to the various people the film has him encounter, so that we can piece Jacob together from those different reactions. Yelchin communicates more through body language than dialogue, getting just as much emotion from a moment staring at his phone while deciding how to respond to a text message as he does from the biggest moment of conflict between the young lovers.

Both actors and characters are somewhat let down by the script (such as it is; much of the movie was improvised from a detailed "treatment"). The movie seems to skip a lot of important bits, and while sometimes that's not a bad thing at all - the characters fill us in on what has happened with casual comments that save a certain amount of melodrama that would have to be presented as a phone call anyway - there are plenty of moments that are big enough that the audience deserves to see them. The last act, especially, is strongly driven by events whose off-screen nature makes the main characters look too shallow, sucking a lot of air from the ending, And, wow, does it make complete ciphers out of the alternative partners played by Jennifer Lawrence and Charlie Bewley, characters who really need to be fleshed out more for what they represent to Anna and Jacob.

What is there is quite well-done; co-writer/director Drake Doremus manages to stick a lot of details in that reinforce the story. Some are more obvious than others, but subtlety is not always what is called for in this sort of youth romance. Doremus finds a good balance between Anna and Jacob being together and their being apart, with Jones and Yelchin displaying a fitting chemistry during those times: Not completely perfect, but seeming that way from the inside. After a rough patch getting there, the end is smartly done, romantic but not blindly so.

In fact, the final scenes may wind up giving "Like Crazy" a bit of unexpected staying power: Audiences as young and romantic as its characters can take it one way while the older/wiser/more experienced may see a bit more nuance there. The movie will still have its problems, but it will likely still resonate as well.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/27/11 05:28:00
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2011 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2011 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2011 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 47th Chicago International Film Festival For more in the 47th Chicago International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2011 Austin Film Festival For more in the 2011 Austin Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 34th Starz Denver Film Festival For more in the 34th Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/13/13 David H. Smart, non-PC romantic drama 5 stars
11/18/11 Jaycee #whitewhine: The Movie. 1 stars
11/07/11 AARON LONGG Great Review, Peter. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 1 stars
11/06/11 Elliot Whoever reviewed this is really bad at writing. 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  28-Oct-2011 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Mar-2012


  DVD: 06-Mar-2012

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast