American Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and British Anna (Felicity Jones) go to college together in Los Angeles. She leaves a long letter on his windshield confessing her crush and an immediate connection is established. They begin a passionate, fun-filled romance for a few months until hit by the realization that she must go back home after graduation once her visa expires. At the very last minute she stays and they spend all summer in bed together. She heads home a few weeks for a wedding and on her way back to the states is denied entry due to her visa violation. The couple stays apart and heartbroken. Like most long-distance relationships they drift apart. They date other people but the spark remains. What follows is a series of break ups, make ups and marriage. The inevitable roadblocks of any relationship, long distance or otherwise.
While the film’s main strength is its ability to avoid gimmicks and clichés, the chemistry between lead actors Yelchin and Jones is spectacular. Felicity Jones, newcomer to American audiences, is as stunningly beautiful as she is talented. Though at times the film’s downfall can be its lack of believability in terms of time passage and its actors looking the same, Felicity proves to be quite versatile as she equally shines on screen as the fun-loving school girl and the career-driven adult. Anton, in a rare leading role, equally impresses with his boyish charm and his unapologetic determination. The film is quite simple in its story yet the performances bring everything to life. A feat all that more impressive when considering that the script contained no dialogue, only a scene outline, and Jones was cast just a few days prior to the four week shoot. What is perhaps the biggest shame in wasteful casting is recent Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence who portrays Jacob’s on-and-off second girlfriend Sam. Not yet publicly known when cast, it is a shame that such a talented performance be limited to only a few key scenes overall.
The film is both sweet and sad and for many its sour note can be the unfinished nature of its ending. The journey is nonetheless worthwhile and for many the film will surely trigger memories of lost loved ones. Like Crazy will have a limited release beginning October 28th. For anyone that loves a good romance, this one truly can’t be missed.