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Like Crazy

A Portrait of Love

By Justin HigginsPublished about a year ago 7 min read

To my surprise, I only recently heard of Like Crazy, which originally came out in 2011. The well-established bond between Anna and Jacob immediately struck a chord in me. I absolutely loved the performances of Anton Yelchin, who played Jacob, and Felicity Jones, who played Anna. They made the characters come alive allowing their on-screen love to permeate naturally.

Like Crazy is about Anna, a foreign exchange student from England, and Jacob, an American student with who she goes to school quickly fall in love with each other. After their romance grows, Anna overstays her visa not realizing how difficult it will be to get the matter resolved, which tests their relationship.

I was instantly captivated by the many themes and lessons as the film concluded. Being a natural romantic, I was in awe at how realistic and moving the performances of Yelchin and Jones were. One of the first questions that entered my thoughts was, “I wonder if people are still moved by this movie?”

Viewing an article, courtesy of 1883 Magazine in 2021, Kelsey Barnes expresses, “Despite the modest budget and simplicity of the story, Like Crazy still has the same impact as it did a decade ago. [A]udiences [still] grapple with trying to grasp the appropriate words to explain why the themes and messages woven throughout the film matter so deeply to them.”

Like Crazy, even a decade later is still a beautifully rich story that hits at the heart of romance and connection. For that reason, people still desire to find someone to fall deeply in love with them. Even with all the complexity, nuances, and possibility of having one’s heartbroken, people are still very much willing to put themselves out there for that chance at finding love. That is what Like Crazy is all about and why it is still an impactful movie.

I love what Felicity Jones has to say about Like Crazy’s durability during a 2021 interview on Jake’s Takes while promoting her upcoming Netflix romance drama, The Last Letter from Your Lover.

“Shailene and I both worked with this director, Drake Doremus. And [I] made a film called Like Crazy with him. And it be interesting to see how that kind of weathered time and whether it was still, ahh, relevant, in sort of years and years to come.”

It’s clear that Felicity understands the impact the movie has had on culture since its release. The subject of love never goes out of style, and for that reason, Like Crazy will always be relevant. Whether it be long distance, first loves, or committed relationships, love is something many individuals can relate to because they have either experienced it, are experiencing it, or want to experience it. After watching the movie and falling completely in love with it, these are my five reasons why Like Crazy accurately describes what makes love so beautiful.

1. Connection (Felicity Jones)

From the opening scene to the last scene, Felicity Jones, who portrays Anna is clearly the star of the show. Her impeccable acting skills immersed me in the film. So much so, I was rooting for Anna and Jacob’s success as if it was real life. When a movie can pull strong emotions out the film has done its job. Jones’ connection with co-star Anton Yelchin is undeniable. Every interaction is intentional and believable. One of the best scenes is when Anna calls Jacob crying the first time they are separated from each other. Anna is back in England, and Jacob is in California, as they are moving on with their individual lives. Anna is growing in her journalism career, while Jacob’s furniture design business is doing well.

One can see just how much Anna and Jacob love each other. It clearly hurts them both to be apart. All the same, it is Jones’ acting that brings life to the movie. Director Drake Doremus expresses well what Felicity Jones brought to the table when he speaks on her performance ten years later, “From the beginning, [Felicity Jones’] effortlessness was apparent. She was just so smart and so unique and so undeniably special” (1883 Magazine, para 35).

2. Touch

In relationships, touch is a major factor in its success. Especially, nonsexual touch. It makes your significant other feel wanted when you hold their hand, rub their back or head, hug them, or cuddle. These are great ways to express interest in your significant other without having to say anything. Nonsexual touch is plentiful in Like Crazy, but one particular scene stands out. When Anna and Jacob first reconnect in England after being separated due to her student visa fiasco, they are at a park together after spending the day with her parents. It is a beautiful sunny day, they are basking in the warmth and enjoying each other’s presence. While they are having a serious conversation, it is Anna displaying a gentle aura. She simply takes her fingers and continuously outlines the hem of Jacob’s hoody while he is voicing his concerns allowing for a natural calm to lay over them. There are many other scenes where Anna and Jacob are laying around, hugging each other, laughing, and expressing the joy of just being around each other. However, it is this scene in the park that very well describes the alluring nature nonsexual touch can have.

3. Communication

This might be the number one area that keeps a relationship afloat. Having good communication, a couple can work out their issues because they trust each other. In turn, they have a deep bond that goes beyond the initial joy of the honeymoon phase. Lacking communication, a couple will ignore or at the very least, gloss over very important issues that need to be discussed within their relationship. While Anna and Jacob had undeniable chemistry and an intense love for each other, they did not always do the best job of addressing concerns when they came up. There were a few instances where Anna and Jacob wanted to discuss their future, but they decided to keep living in the moment. Additionally, there were a couple of other moments where Anna and Jacob wanted to discuss their relationship further, but either ignored it or they allowed the conversation to trail off. In the park, Jacob was voicing his concern to Anna about how he did not feel like he was a part of her life. They tried talking about it, but it became too difficult, and they stopped. In another scene, Anna and Jacob were asking each other, perhaps jokingly, if they were seeing anyone else. They both ignored the question in favor of living in the moment, again. That build-up led to a fight when tensions finally mounted to a head.

4. Hope

Without question, one of the greatest factors in successful love stories is the probability of hope. Hope that the two of you will continue to love each other through hard times. Hope that the connection you are experiencing is authentic. Hope that the person you have fallen in love with feels the same way. All these factors are on display between Anna and Jacob. They fell in love so quickly that they barely had time to think about what they were doing. Even so, their connection always felt real, which is why they always ran back to each other. They dated other individuals to fill the void of being without each other. Yet, the hope they would always be back together won out, especially during the scene where Anna called Jacob expressing her greatest wish that they would be together.

“I just have to say one thing, and it’s really important that you just listen to me. I just… It doesn’t feel like this thing is going to go away. It’s always there. I can’t… I can’t get on with my life.” After Jacob interjects, Anna continues, “I know, Jacob, but the things that we have with each other, I don’t have with any other person. With any other human being apart from you. We should be with each other. And I feel it so strongly. And I feel like… it’s right for us to get married…” (scripts.com, p. 25, 2011).

This is one of the most heartfelt scenes in the movie because it shows how much Jacob meant to Anna. While Jacob did not explicitly acknowledge what Anna said, his willingness to go along says something about how he felt about Anna.

5. Intimacy

Combining the previous four points, (connection, touch, communication, and hope), intimacy brings them all together. Intimacy is not simply sexual, though that is certainly included. It includes everything one is. Who they are mentally, physically, and spiritually, including the good and bad of who they are. When all is included and ultimately accepted, a very genuine and deep intimacy can be built. This is what Anna and Jacob developed throughout everything they endured throughout the film. Surviving the many times, they separated and resumed their relationships. Also, the fun times from the beginning of their relationship and the more sincere connections they built as their relationship continued. By no means were they perfect or without faults. Because if their relationship was to continue, they had much to work out. However, the last scene accurately displays how they felt about each other.

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About the Creator

Justin Higgins

Hey everyone!!! I’m looking forward to being inspired. I have always enjoyed the creative aspect of writing but only recently over the past two years have a seriously started engaging in it. I write short stories & poetry.

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    Justin HigginsWritten by Justin Higgins

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