DIRECTED BY Drake Doremus
STARS Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones
Three-quarters twee and one-quarter Glee, Like Crazy won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance shindig, beating out a slate of 15 other titles that included Take Shelter and Martha Marcy May Marlene. If nothing else, this stands as proof positive that even the film festivals can be as misguided in their selections as the notorious Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The film won a second Sundance honor for the lead performance by Felicity Jones, an acceptable selection given that she's the best thing about this film in which L.A. college kid Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and British exchange student Anna (Jones) hook up, only to be separated by the ocean after she willfully extends her visa stay illegally and is booted back to the U.K. (that these adults would be so stupid in this post-9/11 age of stringent airport laws is a daft narrative concept, but we'll let it slide). The whole thrust of the film is that these two people should be together no matter what — think Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Titanic's Jack and Rose, Brokeback Mountain's Ennis and Jack — but director Drake Doremus (scripting with Ben York Jones) doesn't make a very compelling case for his lovebirds. While it's easy to see Anna's adoration, Jacob won't even consider moving to England to be with his presumed soulmate, preferring instead to remain stateside and periodically take up with a co-worker (a wasted Jennifer Lawrence) who deserves better than the treatment he doles out to her.
Ultimately, Like Crazy is a love story about two often annoying people who don't have much discernible chemistry and are mostly bonded by their mutual love for Paul Simon. The singer's Graceland is referenced, but as these two prattled on, I only desired to hear the sound of silence.