Anna and Jacob are college students in Los Angeles taking the same writing class. Anna is from England studying in the US on a student visa. She hopes to become a journalist one day. Jacob is studying furniture design. Anna is smitten with Jacob and invites him to coffee to which he accepts. Their romance blossoms. In fact, they plunge so deeply in love that after graduation, she makes the conscious choice to remain in the U.S. with him overstaying her visa. It’s imperative to believe she is so head over heels in love with him, an indefensible decision like that would makes sense. As expected, complications arise.
The romance displays some nice chemistry between Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as the young couple separated by distance. We learn the minutia of their lives: they share a love for Paul Simon’s Graceland album for example. He builds her a handcrafted chair. How touching! Their connection feels honest and the details charmingly complement their sincere love affair. We recognize that they love each other. The problem is there simply aren’t sufficient reasons to wish for this relationship to continue given the way things plays out.
At times it’s hard to support these characters. Anna’s refusal to leave the U.S. at the appropriate time, has dire consequences that have lasting repercussions. These consequences could have been easily avoided by following the law. I kept thinking, “you brought this on yourself.” Additionally, it’s not clear if these two are even right for one another. Other paramours enter the picture that call into question whether Jacob and Anna are truly a perfect match. I guess there’s artistry in a movie behaving like real life. People fall in and out of love, yes. But there’s also majesty in a fairy tale about true love.
This inexplicably won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Granted there’s a beauty in the simplicity of plot and emotion that makes this drama so intimate. Unfortunately those innovations don’t legitimize the aforementioned accolade. There aren’t well-founded reasons to justify why we should care about these two young adults. The immigration laws (which they deliberately broke) keep them physically apart. Once isolated, they seem to find other lovers rather quickly. You’ll be asking yourself, maybe these two weren’t meant for each other. Like Crazy isn’t a classic heartfelt romantic drama for the ages. This is about an everyday relationship. That can get pretty boring.