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Mainstream Chick with Greta Gerwig @Middleburg

Like Crazy

I wasn’t crazy for Like Crazy like a lot of people seem to be. Don’t get me wrong. I liked it. I just didn’t love it. Maybe it’s because I’m old(ish) and jaded and have always been more of a realist than a romantic, but this movie just didn’t resonate with me. Yes, the performances are excellent from both Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, who won a best actress award at Sundance for her role. And the director, Drake Doremus, does a good job of conveying how all consuming first love can be with a lot of tight close-ups of the young couple’s adoring, besotted glances, and then of letting the relationship unfold at a languid pace as they try to figure out how to and whether they should stay together. Too bad I didn’t really care if they did or not.

The couple is Jacob (Yelchin) and Anna (Jones). They meet at a university in California where she is studying English and he is learning furniture design. She leaves a vaguely stalkerish note on his car and they meet for coffee. They bond over Paul Simon’s Graceland album (seems an odd choice, but okay) and quickly become a couple. The connection between them is powerful. Then senior year is almost up and they wonder “What are we going to do after we graduate?” What she should do is go back to England where she’s from so that she doesn’t overstay her student visa. But, matters of the heart trump legal matters for her and she stays. Too bad love doesn’t actually conquer all – especially immigration law. When she takes a quick trip back to the UK and then tries to return to the U.S. and Jacob, Anna isn’t allowed back into the country. This is when things get difficult.

She can’t resolve her immigration issues and he can’t/won’t give up his furniture business to move to England. So what are they to do? They text, he visits, they both fall into other more convenient relationships. He with a California blonde played by Jennifer Lawrence (who will most likely become a household name come March when The Hunger Games hit theaters). She with a yuppie Brit named Simon. As the months and years go by, Anna and Jacob drift apart and back together trying to figure out if they can overcome all the obstacles and whether this thing they have is really worth the effort.

It’s a fine little love story, well acted and directed. But like I said I just didn’t care about the couple. In fact, they kind of annoyed me. Her heartfelt poetry… His block-like furniture… Graceland? Really? One thing I did admire was Anna’s penchant for single malt whisky. I left the theater wanting a scotch. And one of the reasons I didn’t want to leave early to get one was the movie only runs 90 minutes. I can put up with anything for 90 minutes. I suspect if you consider yourself a romantic, you may enjoy this one more than I did. So don’t let me put you off it completely. I’d say get it on pay-per-view or Netflix when it’s available and you’re in the mood for some sappy romance, and pour yourself a scotch.

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