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Movie Review

Like Crazy

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language.

Reviewed by: Julia Webster
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Romance Drama
Length:
1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
October 28, 2011 (limited—4 theaters)
DVD: March 6, 2012
Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures

great difficulties of long-distance relationships

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What does God say about fornication and adultery?

consequences of sin

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

sinfulness and the fall of man

marriage covenanthusband and wife

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

hope

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breaking the law by purposefully overstaying student visa limit

LONELINESS—What are good ways to deal with it?

selfishness vs. true love

honor

Featuring: Anton YelchinJacob
Felicity Jones … Anna
Jennifer LawrenceSam
Charlie Bewley … Simon
Alex Kingston … Jackie
Oliver Muirhead … Bernard
Finola Hughes … Liz
Chris Messina … Mike Appletree
more »
Director: Drake Doremus
Producer: Andrea Sperling Productions
Indian Paintbrush
more »
Distributor: Paramount Vantage, Paramount Pictures

“Like Crazy” is a love story. Like all love stories, it has happy moments and sad moments. But “Like Crazy” has another quality—it teaches us about the love, commitment, and sacrifice Paul describes so beautifully in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians.

The story centers on two college students, Jacob and Anna, who meet and become friends. After a short time, the couple falls in love. (It is refreshing nowadays to see a love affair begin with friendship.) Though sexual scenes are certainly present in “Like Crazy,” including a shared shower, short scenes of lovemaking, and a couple of scenes of non-graphic nudity, the overall theme is the struggle to maintain a relationship despite adversity.

Anna is in the United States on a student visa, and, as she is graduating, she needs to return to the UK for a short time in order to re-enter the US on an employment visa. At this point, the couple is passionately in love, and Anna impulsively decides not to return home—she would rather stay with Jacob and return to England at the end of the summer. Unfortunately, Anna’s unwise decision leads to her being deported.

Jacob and Anna carry on a long distance relationship, and continue to make impulsive decisions that lead them further from a solution to their situation. Eventually, in a move reminiscent of the 1990 film “Green Card,” as a way for Anna to stay in the United States, the couple decides to marry. Unfortunately, the slow-moving and stubborn bureaucracy continues to frustrate them and their desperate desire to be together. The cinematography of the film beautifully depicts the agony of Jacob and Anna’s interminable waiting, with short cuts of their solitary characters wandering through crowds or sitting opposite empty chairs. The montage sequences also show the passage of time and the loneliness of their lives.

Unfortunately, due to the constant absence from each other, Anna and Jacob’s relationship begins to disintegrate, as each seeks to fill the emptiness with other partners.

These relationships are very sad, as Jacob and Anna, due to the fluctuation and up-and-down nature of their own situation, continually hurt their current partners. Eventually, all four characters are unhappy with their lives and with each other.

In the end, Jacob and Anna find they have betrayed each other. They did not learn to think of the other before themselves. Love is a choice not based solely on the constant presence of a loved one or on the feelings of happiness received within a relationship.

This movie could be useful for some parents to view with their older teenagers, as there are several lessons to be learned from the couple’s foolishness and sins. First, we must remember to trust in the LORD and not our own understanding, to make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). Also, Jacob and Anna have much to work through in their marriage, including commitment despite adversity and honoring each other (Romans 12:10). Parents might suggest that perhaps Anna and Jacob are unable to change their circumstances because they have broken faith with each other, forgetting that a husband and wife are expected to keep their marriage covenant (Malachi 2:13-14). What is true love?

Is it possible for men and women truly to love “like crazy?” Certainly. But the greatest love comes from God:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

And what love is better than that?

Violence: None / Profanity: Moderate—OMG (2), “My G_d,” “Oh for G_d’s sakes,” “Oh G_d,” f-word (1), sh_t (3) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy (PG-13)—(couple under the covers / shared shower / couple in bubble bath—female wearing top / female in bra and panties / passionate kissing / non-graphic shots of couples having sex—facial reactions, heavy breathing, some movement)

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative
Negative—Besides The Tree of Life, this was the most pointless movie I have ever seen. Maybe the point was “never violate your visa”! These people acted like they were in love at first, then when they couldn’t be together they decided to sleep with other people. Then basically they kept switching back and forth, because when they were with one person they would get restless and start secretly texting the person they weren’t with. Then they would go right back to wishing they were with the person they left to be with the texter! And the main couple was married at some point but then they went back to sleeping with other people and it never explained if they got divorced or what.

Spoiler Warning: At the end they do end up together but they seem so depressed after everything that’s happened that it’s not likely that it will last long. So I guess the point could be “Stay with one person and don’t sleep around,” but it’s a long and extremely tedious roundabout way to learn something that people should already know.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Kadie Jo, age 20 (USA)
Movie Critics

“…‘Like Crazy’ is a real, honest love story… Don’t be put off by the lovey-dovey poster: ‘Like Crazy’ is no vacuous, treacly rom-com. … Its insight into human behavior will leave a powerful impression guaranteed to stir discussion as well as emotions.”
—Claudia Puig, USA Today

“…What Jones and Yelchin are delicate masters of is the relationship in miniature—the giggling closeness, the automatic ownership of the other’s hand. In one achingly authentic scene, they place back-to-back long-distance calls that hairpin from careful reserve to teary, snotting abandon; it had me startled and hiccuping back a sob. There’s no question that the actors and filmmakers have fashioned a compelling (if unformed) love story of a certain age—which is not to be confused for a love story for the ages. …”
—Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle

“…protagonists Jacob and Anna are no Romeo and Juliet, despite writer/director Drake Doremus' fraudulent but manful attempts to make them seem so —at the end of the day, their problems could be solved by a plane ticket and less self-involvement. … All the tears in North America will never make ‘Like Crazy’ anything other than a variation on ‘Dear John’ that is far more mannered, and therefore even less sincere.”
—Ray Greene, Boxoffice Magazine

“…‘Like Crazy’ tells the truth, simply: Love is thrilling. And—just because of the way life happens—sometimes love hurts…” [A-]
—Lisa Schwarzbaumm, Entertainment Weekly

“…Although stories of youthful passion are as common as sin, it's rare for the result to be as honest and heartfelt, to draw us as deeply into its story as director Drake Doremus (who also wrote the screenplay with Ben York Jones) does here. We feel for these characters, worry about them, buy into their situation as completely as if they were our close personal friends. Maybe even more so. …”
—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“…Deeply felt first-love tale offers convincing performances and a fine-tuned storytelling sensibility. …”
—John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

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