Like Crazy also has something to say about the transition from handwritten to electronic communications. It’s a point that’s open to interpretation, but it’s hard to miss that Jacob and Anna’s relationship kicks off with a handwritten note she leaves on his car windshield. She’s a writer/editor; she works with words. He’s a furniture designer—another occupation that suggests permanence and stability. She makes scrapbooks about their romance. Cellphones are scarcely seen early in the film, and when they are, they’re used for voice calls, not texts. At one moment when their relationship is still new, Alex asks that Anna send him an e-mail and tell him a good time to talk. When the couple visits Anna’s parents, they all play the word-definition game Balderdash. Texting grows more prominent only as Jacob and Anna’s relationship deteriorates, and even then one text asks, “can u call me?” At a low moment in their relationship, we hear a series of voice-mail messages in which the couple struggle with how, or if, they should move forward.

What is the film trying to tell us? Maybe that older ways of communicating are associated with traditional ideas about relationships, or a time when sorting through the challenges of love seemed less complex. Whether it shows a preference for verbal over written communication, or letters and e-mails over texts, is something each viewer has to sort out for himself.

The great strength of Like Crazy is that it understands the moment in life where schooling ends and professional life and longer-term commitments begin. Much of this may be due to the ages of the talent involved. Director Drake Doremus, born in 1983, gets strong performances from Yelchin and Jones, who were born in 1989 and 1984, respectively. Yelchin, best known for playing Chekov in the Star Trek reboot, is convincing as a love-struck student and entrepreneur. Jones brings the right mix of cusp-of-adulthood innocence and a person navigating through major life decisions.

If you see Like Crazy, don’t expect to approve of the characters’ decisions, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself identifying with the mistake-prone couple. The early 20s is one of life’s toughest transition points. If you have something solid to hold on to—something deeper than romantic feelings—count yourself blessed.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: “Oh my G-d”; “s-itty”; the “f” word.
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: Several scenes of drinking; at one point Anna says she’s stopped drinking in order to get healthy; Anna’s dad does whiskey tastings for Jacob and Anna; Anna drinks shots at a bar; a nightclub scene of drinking and dancing; champagne consumed out of the bottle.
  • Sex/Nudity: Anna and Jacob look longingly at each other at the end of date, and we’re not sure if something happened physically between them before they part ways. But soon they’re shown waking up next to each other, kissing in bed and having sex (no nudity shown); Anna’s mom asks if the couple is “being careful”; Anna and Jacob bathe together, but Anna is wearing something in the water; they’re shown in robes in the next scene; a montage of images of Anna and Jacob in bed shows them asleep in their underwear and night clothes; Anna tells Jacob she’s been “sleeping with lots of people,” but seems to be joking until Jacob presses her for the truth; they discuss whether they should see other people, and they both do get intimately involved with other people; Sam shown in a night shirt; sex scenes between Anna and someone she’s not married to, and between Jacob and someone he’s not married to, include moaning and gasping; a woman’s bare leg and underwear are exposed; Anna and Jacob shower together.
  • Violence/Crime: None.
  • Marriage: Anna’s dad says she and Jacob would save him a lot of money if they would get married; later, they do, to contemporary vows; the couple is physically separated while Anna tries to get her visa privileges restored; marital infidelity depicted.
     

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com