One big problem with Hollywood “true-love” stories is there’s often very little “truth” in them.
Then along comes a movie like Like Crazy — an indie, not a studio picture — where the relationship is allowed to be so real, so subtle, and so heartfelt that it almost feels voyeuristic. Like a love note you find, and probably shouldn’t read, but …
That was the experience many had at Sundance watching director and co-writer Drake Doremus’ film at Sundance this year, about two star-crossed lovers (Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones) who fall intensely for each other in college only to find themselves separated by a continent and an ocean, but bound — hopefully — by something stronger.
When the movie’s first screening at Sundance ended, there weren’t just a lot of tear-streaked faces, but a lot of thumbs texting loved ones from afar. “This guy came up to me right after and he just broke down and said he’d just talked to the ex-girlfriend he hadn’t spoken to in five years, just there, there in the audience,” Doremus recalls. “He said, ‘The movie inspired me to act on something I’ve been feeling and thinking for many years.’ I was blown away.”
Like Crazy won Sundance’s grand jury prize and a best actress award for Jones, while Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush bought the distribution rights for $4 million. Come Oct. 28, when it debuts in limited release, it’ll start playing to the masses.
But Like Crazy is one of those movies that will inevitably find its audience through word of mouth, just like the beautiful but shy friend you know others will swoon for if you just make the right introduction
So here it is — that intro: the first look at Like Crazy‘s trailer and a poster with an almost subliminal message, after the jump.
You can tell right away that these two have that falling-into-you kind of passion, that kind of dating-honeymoon phase when you just can’t keep your hands off each other, but look closer and you’ll see that the beach they’re walking on can’t exist. “It’s very subtle, but there are London elements on Felicity’s side of the poster, and Los Angeles elements on Anton’s. It kind of brings the worlds together,” Doremus says.
Of course, the drama of the movie is that they can’t join those worlds so easily.
After falling for each other while Felicity’s character was in Los Angeles on a student visa, a tentative romance blossoms before graduation, then summer, and then immigration policy intervenes — which the young couple just ignore, until … well, until they can’t anymore. Then she finds herself banned from returning to the states, just as he finds himself locked into a job that restricts him from packing up and following her.
There are a lot of things that can derail young love: financial pressures, distance, but most of all expectation.
Like Crazy is the same way. It’s one of those movies, like the Irish musician romance Once or (500) Days of Summer, you don’t want to overhype, but find yourself risking that anyway just because it needs that enthusiasm to make people discover it.
Just ask yourself this: Ever been madly, wildly, desperately in love and found yourself separated from that person, at great distance for long periods of time, and all you have to hang onto is the idea of “someday …”?
Watch this. And excuse me. I … I just have something in my eye …
On Twitter: @Breznican