Like Crazy (2011)
Starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by Drake Doremus
Sure enough in Like Crazy, the quirks come from the direction which, right of the bat from the very first shot, had me rolling my eyes and cringing in disgust. Director and co-writer Drake Doremus adopts a voyeuristic approach to the flick and from the very opening scene, I knew it was going to be utterly pretentious...and I wasn't wrong. Throughout the film which follows the budding relationship of American Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Brit Anna (Felicity Jones), Doremus utilizes a light shaky cam coupled with odd, rather obnoxious framing. He's a fan of those odd cuts that are becoming more and more prevalent nowadays -- a shot where, as an example, we see someone sitting at a desk, then they cut like ten seconds out and the person's slightly moved, then another 30 seconds maybe, and so and so on to show the (monotonous) passage of time. Drawing attention to the direction is something I don't always hate, but in a simple movie like this, it's incredibly distracting. Doremus is able to capture some little moments -- like a kiss here or a glance there -- that are simple, lovely, and heartfelt, but overall, his direction was the film's biggest fault.
As far as the story itself -- which is a rather basic love story about a long distance relationship of the two aforementioned characters -- it works okay (not quite a ringing endorsement, I'm aware) even though it manages to somehow feel much longer than its short 85 minutes (another fault of the director). Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are fine and there's a chemistry between the two that works. However, neither of the characters are really captivating enough to craft a movie around which proves to be a bit of a problem.
Like Crazy ends much like the underseen 2011 sleeper Last Night (which is available instantly streaming on Netflix and comes RyMickey Recommended) and both endings work immensely well, lifting the movie up probably moreso than they respectively deserve to be lifted up. However, I can't let the enjoyable "cliff-hangerish" ending spoil what ultimately is a disappointment here.
The RyMickey Rating: C-