Sundance Film Festival follow up: LIKE CRAZY
Appropriately for a movie about a long distance relationship, LIKE CRAZY has come a long way since its Park City debut almost one year ago. It was acquired by Paramount Pictures as “the first big sale” of last year’s Sundance Film Festival, then went on to receive the fest’s Grand Jury Prize from a group that included filmmakers Jason Reitman and Kimberly Peirce. After Sundance, it hit the festival circuit, playing Toronto, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Savannah, and Stockholm, then opened in limited release last fall. In ten weeks, without ever playing on more than 150 screens, it’s already recouped most of the reported $4 million Paramount paid to acquire the film. All in all, that’s, like, crazy. (An obvious joke, but I promise that’s the only time in this post I’ll make it. Maybe. I still have a few paragraphs to go.)
The film starred Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as Jacob and Anna, college students who meet and fall in love at school in Los Angeles. Anna’s British, which means she’s studying here under a visa, which means when she graduates that visa expires, which means she shouldn’t violate it by spending the summer after college living with Jacob, which means when she finally heads home she’s not allowed back into the country, which means the rest of LIKE CRAZY follows the two characters as they try to make sense of their feelings while they’re both an ocean and a continent apart.
Improvisation is all the rage in comedy these days, but LIKE CRAZY co-writer/director Drake Doremus is one of the few filmmakers who uses improv in drama. The result is a movie that feels and sounds real — all too real, as anyone who’s endured the pain of a long distance relationship can attest. No wonder then that Yelchin and Jones have both received “Breakthrough Performer” accolades for their roles; Yelchin from the Hamptons International Film Festival, Jones from the Gotham Awards. You’ll be seeing plenty more from these talented young actors in the future, too: Yelchin will soon be seen back behind the controls of the Starship Enterprise in J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK 2, while Jones has lined up one of the lead roles in Ralph Fiennes’ THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, the story of Charles Dickens’ secret mistress.
As for Doremus, he’s already putting the finishing touches on his next project, a still-untitled film starring Jones, Guy Pearce, and Amy Ryan. And if you missed LIKE CRAZY when it played near you, you should be able to find it on DVD like, crazy soon.