Once in a decade a film appears that throws you back in time; a time of first love; you remember why it is called “first love” and why you never forget it: you know with ever fiber of your being, from the deepest essence of your soul that no one in the history of civilization, from the Paleolithic age to the present, has ever felt the way you do; you are unique, the first and last to ever experience this breath- defying passion, and love. It is mystifying how you eat, take tests, have alternate conversations when your every conscious second is consumed with thoughts, ambushed and wonderfully imprisoned by the loved one; this tangible, palpable devotion, obsession, might eventually dissipate but will never be forgotten and the memory forever spiritual, pure, sacred.
Luminous actors, Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin capture and own this love story between “Anna”, a budding writer and student from London, and American, future furniture designer, “Jacob”. They are smart, focused, never confuse their love with their anticipated professions. My monumental fear, because of the title, was another movie where the word ‘like” is bastardized by today’s venacular. Here are a couple in their late teens and twenties who know how to converse (Tracey/Hepburn); their quickness, quips, humor shout, simmer with intelligence; their minds so in tuned to each other but their individual, intellectual integrity is never compromised. You are attracted to this couple, like them, want them in your lives and wish them eternal togetherness. Directed and written by Drake Doremus (co-writer Ben York Jones) but so much of the dialogue was improvised by Felicity and Anton who bonded over the course of the production.
To quote Will (or Edward )“the course of true love, never did run smooth” ; maturity, graduation, pursuing your vocation; the idyllic bubble of college days bursts, replaced by accountability. Anna has visa issues and returns to England; Jacob initiates his own business. Hence the plot thickens.
Exhilarating performances by Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”), Oliver Muirhead, Alex Kingston and Charlie Bewley add strength and depth to the scenario. There is never a false moment, not an once of saccharine sentimentality, just life, love, its magnificent, milestone moments; valleys, voids of vicissitudes, realistically portrayed and resolved.
See “Like Crazy” smile, cry, visit long dormant, emotional archives, and decide if there are any “happily ever after’s”.
FOUR &1/2 STARS!!!!