Feeling lost after finally catching up with Orange is the New Black, I turned to my hefty queue of chick flicks to help ease the pain. First up was Like Crazy, a film centred on two college students and their epic quest of staying together and keeping their love alive, despite the seemingly insurmountable immigration and distance issues.
Anna and Jacob fall victim to the ‘love at first sight’ cliché, and the film does nothing to solidify the authenticity of their subsequent relationship. Their first date goes from completely adorkable to pure cheese—and not the good kind. This is followed by the mandatory montage that supposedly demonstrates their budding relationship, but is much too short before cutting to a predictable ‘meet the parents’ scene. These crucial early moments of the film fail to make me feel emotionally invested in the plot’s outcome. It’s a shame because for the first few minutes, I felt like I could have fallen in love with their relationship myself. Their initial interactions on the first date have just the right balance of awkward and cute through the dialogue and how they physically act around each other, but right at the end of the date, they share a weird moment with a glass door between them. That’s when I started rolling my eyes. The montage had potential to get me back on board with the film, but again, it was cut too short to re-establish my investment.
It becomes apparent early on that the couple is ill-suited for each other, simply because of their relationship’s destructive nature. They become too wrapped up in their own bubble with almost no regard for those around them and the outside world. This is evident when Anna decides to illegally stay in the US, which becomes the key source for the couple’s tribulations. Furthermore, their off-and-on-again romance leads to stringing along other hapless relationships, one of which leads up to a proposal (only to have Anna refuse because she’s not over Jacob). Jacob, in turn, has another intermittent relationship of his own. I end up feeling sorrier for the secondary characters than anything else because of the toxic nature of Jacob and Anna’s romance.
In hindsight, one thing that I did enjoy about this film is how it portrays the not so pleasant aspects of romantic relationships. It’s just one train wreck after another with these two, and I couldn’t help but draw endless parallels between my first serious relationship and theirs. The emotional manipulation, the reckless behaviour, and mindless stubbornness hit way too close to home, especially since I was hoping for some light-hearted romance. Nevertheless, this shot of realism is the only thing Like Crazy has going for it, but it’s not enough to make me like the film more.
I was completely surprised to learn that the plot is based on a true story, simply because of how ludicrous it is. Though it’s not the worst film I’ve seen, I don’t feel compelled to watch it ever again, nor do I really recommend it for others.