(Note: Full SPOILERS for the 2011 movie Like Crazy ahead.)
Drake Doremus’s Like Crazy is an unconventional love story that depicts the beautiful as well as the ugly side of relationships. Because love isn’t all sunshine and roses, is it? And we are tired of movies making it seem like falling in love is nothing more than a magical delight.
The movie builds an intimacy with the audience without much use of dialogue, which gives it an edge over most romantic dramas in terms of keeping things real and believable, because love finds refuge in the little things you notice about someone that would otherwise go unnoticed. I believe that sometimes feelings get lost in words and that silence says everything there is to say, much like Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin), who would rather spend time laughing on a beach at sunset, or having ice creams, or sharing their artwork with each other. You don’t get to “experience” love in most movies, but these simple shots accompanied by the beauty of silence and naturalistic acting would make you feel otherwise. Without pomp and show, it is the realism that immediately makes us plunge into their world.
As you see them experience this new feeling, you think it can’t get any better than this. That’s when their relationship takes a turning point, from where there’s no coming back. No matter how hard they try, time and distance tear them apart, so much that they are strangers to each other now.
Love breaks them, crushes their souls bit by bit, as they crave for those young days of love where everything seemed too good to be true.
“And I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it, but I didn’t, not really. I didn’t realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it’s the halves that halve you in half. I didn’t know; don’t know, about the in-between bits; the gory bits of you, and the gory bits of me.”
They both have transient relationships with other people during the time they spend away from each other, but they are stuck, unable to find that kind of love again. The good memories that they shared with each other, they hurt more than they make them smile, as they know they can’t get back to the way it was. They’re living in denial, unable to face the reality.
Every once in a while, we want movies to show something real, that is relatable and not just a tear jerker. Like Crazy perfectly depicts an imperfect relationship where things don’t always go the way you want them to, but that’s life. It is what it is. Like in 500 Days of Summer, Summer realises that true love exists, but maybe not with the person who’s sitting across from you right now. Life is unpredictable and love isn’t an eternal flame, things change with time. It can be hard to move on from one love even when there’s another love waiting for you.
But if love can go, it can come back too, right? Well no, not always. And even if it does, either the person changes or the memories hurt too much. Anna and Jacob are victims of this age old dilemma, this confusion that drives them apart. Even after we see them finally getting back together after Anna is offered a new visa to the US, there is no spark of romance anymore, no real happiness after meeting each other at the airport. The end sequence where they stand underneath a shower, water falling over them, soaking their feet, all the memories flash in front of them, all the times they couldn’t stop smiling, the days of young love, when they were head over heels for each other, like crazy. Those sweet remembrances have turned bitter now.
Like water, those memories too drain away eventually; leaving them with empty hearts, devoid of love.