2011 Sep 12

Like Crazy at TIFF

Tomorrow, Jennifer’s movie Like Crazy is having its first showing at TIFF at 6pm at Ryerson. On the TIFF website it has a long plot synopsis 

She’s English, he’s American — but for now they’re both squatting in the land of the smitten. In this savvy take on star-crossed love, the obstacle comes not in the form of feuding families or untimely death, but the more contemporary challenges of geography and immigration papers. While Drake Doremus offered up goofball road-trip romance in his 2010 comedy Douchebag, he now turns his virtuoso eye to the dramatic.Like Crazy is an astute and sharply honest glimpse at one turbulent ocean-spanning relationship.

Anna (Felicity Jones) notices Jacob (Anton Yelchin) in one of her college classes in Los Angeles. In a move worthy only of her youth, she scribbles a love poem and leaves it on his car. The pair is soon catapulted into that most potent brand of romance: naïve, pure and possibly fleeting. When Anna is deported back to England after overstaying her visa, the couple reckons with the inadequacies of text messaging, rival lovers and the cruel realities of a distance that starts out physical but becomes, over time, emotional.

The actors improvised all of the dialogue — Doremus’ mother was a founding member of The Groundlings, so improv is in his genes — adding a visceral naturalism to the film’s affective punch. Jones and Yelchin perfectly capture the can’t-get-enough-of-each-other bliss of young love, conveying both the sweetness and vulnerability of twentysomething courtship. As Jacob’s convenient distraction, Jennifer Lawrence (nominated for an Academy Award® for Winter’s Bone last year) is a smoky counterpoint to Jones’ bright-eyed Anna.

This perceptive account of first-time heartbreak is often painful but never cynical. Shot on a Canon HD still camera,Like Crazy’s lo-fi visual sensibility enhances the high-impact resonance of Anna and Jacob’s very recognizable story. Doremus’ lens magnifies the often fitful process of realizing it isn’t meant to be. We may idealize our first love, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real.  

 For the timetable of the three showings of Like Crazy here