^
Keep New Times Free
4

Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones in the Indie Romance, Like Crazy

Opening Oct. 28, Like Crazy is also a love song to old media, filled with letters and photographs and other non-digitized artifacts.

Like Crazy, which hits the silver screen October 28, is a strange, delightful experiment in filmmaking.

Co-written and directed by relative newcomer Drake Doremus, the film worked off a script that was mostly outline, leaving the dialogue to be filled in with extensive in-character improvisation by stars Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Fright Night) and Felicity Jones (The Tempest, Northanger Abbey).

What they produced was a film that not only took the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, but has continued to be lauded by critics as a strikingly, unflinchingly realistic portrayal of young love.

The story follows British student Anna (Jones), who meets and falls in love with Jacob (Yelchin) while going to college in California. When she graduates, the couple faces separation, and Anna overstays her student visa to spend just a few more months in town (told in a rapid montage of images of the two in bed). 

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.


This small violation turns into a nightmare when Anna is banned from entering the United States. The film unfolds as Anna and Jacob struggle to maintain a long-distance relationship amidst the legal battles and emotional toll of being apart

The premise may sound grim, but the visuals are so colorful and complex (their first date is at a coffee shop, in which they are never in frame together, but conversing as two halves of the same image) that you may find yourself grinning at inappropriate times

Even when the film is heartbreaking - and it often is - it exudes incredible warmth.

Dialogue is another star of the film, all the more impressive considering the amount of improvisation by the actors. 


It is filled with the kind of sophisticated-quirky-chic lines that the best indie films are known for, as when Jacob remarks of coffee cups that they "are huge! They're like reservoirs." Or there's a scene on a hotel balcony on Catalina Island, when Jacob jokingly pretends to be a yachtsman: "Yeah, I like tuna. I like tuna a lot. I like tuna enough to name my boat The Ahi."

Stars Yelchin and Jones, who were in town last month for the opening night premiere of Like Crazy at the 11th Annual Scottsdale Film Festival, were surprisingly reserved and introspective at an afternoon Q&A at ASU

Discussing film history and the film noir genre, Yelchin mentioned "ideology," while Jones was quick to name Danish director Lars von Trier as a major inspiration (Yelchin agreed). The often-controversial von Trier (The Tree of Life, Antichrist) was in the news this summer for being banned from Cannes after comments he made about understanding Hitler.

But von Trier's films - maybe like his own star persona - are filled with layers of meaning, simultaneously offering and withholding, and inviting the viewer to find his or her own meaning within the collision of shots. And this is what Like Crazy does so well: It withholds meaning, quietly denies any kind of three-pronged thesis statement that will open and close the narrative, and instead leaves you with the opportunity to search, reinterpret, and redefine.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.