waterworks continue most nights at 11. Here's abstew on Like Crazy
When Like Crazy played at Sundance in 2011, it became an instant hit. It even managed to win both the Grand Jury Prize for Drama and a Special Jury Prize in acting for star Felicity Jones. So it seemed natural that the film would follow in the Oscar-nominated footsteps of fellow Sundance award winners Precious and An Education and translate that success into some Oscar love of its own. If anything, certainly the film would've been the kind of star-is-born breakout for Felicity Jones in the same way Carey Mulligan had experienced 2 years previously. (And discussed recently in another edition of April Showers.) But when it was released in theatres later that year, the love it found in Sundance just never caught on in the same way for audiences or critics. And it seems the only breakout star to come from the film is Jennifer Lawrence in the small part of the other girl. She may not have gotten the man, but I'd said she's doing perfectly fine. [more...]
When I saw the film in the movie theater, my friend had made plans to see a play afterward, but had forgotten to factor in the 20 minutes of previews that precede the film. Right before the last scene (oh, by the way SPOILERS–this entire post is about the last scene of the film) he had to leave. The next time I saw him, he asked what happened at the end. "They take a shower together," I replied. "Are you serious? Well, I guess I didn't miss anything." But in a way he did miss everything because so much of where the relationship between Anna (Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin) is headed is up to the interpretation of the viewer. The shower scene needs to be seen to determine what we think their fate will be.
Anna and Jacob meet and fall in love in an LA college. The lovers have the kind of relationship where you bond over your mutual love of Peter Gabriel music and whiskey and spend hours lying in bed together. The only problem is that Anna is British and in the states on a student Visa which expires when she graduates. Rather than waiting the 2 and half months it would take to secure the new required papers, Anna decides to spend the summer with Jacob. Her love for him is too strong to be parted for so long. (This really does feel like such a young love story when 2 months seemed like an unimaginable time to be parted from your boyfriend.) She goes back to the UK for a family event and upon returning finds that she is not allowed back in the US because of violation of her Visa.
The film follows their long distance relationship–late night phone calls, new lovers, quick cross-continent visits to England, fights, tears, and the inevitable solution, marriage. Eventually Anna is granted permission to legally live in the United States. She comes to Jacob's apartment and design studio (which he had just recently shared with his assistant and lover. The warmth of her body still filling the space.) and finds that she's a stranger in his life. Feeling a little lost with no job prospects and not quite sure where she fits in, Anna decides to take a shower to cleanse herself. Jacob joins her.
After some chit chat about the temperature of the shower ("Ah, this feels good". All the dialogue in the film was improvised), the two become silent and embrace as the water washes over them.
But the sounds of the shower are soon joined by a melancholy music as each of the them reflects on their time together. Anna remembers an early date on go-carts when they were exuberantly happy:
The way he looked at her with such love in his eyes:
Knowing that just being near her was enough to put a smile on his face:
Now we see Jacob's recollections.
As he remembers the first time he spent in Anna's room, when the love was new and exciting:
Knowing that it was enough to just to be next to her:
The playful way she looked at him as she recited her wedding vows:
And the intimacy they experienced on their wedding night:
But was it just looking back at what was? Is there an actual future for the two after what they've been through over the years and were they are now in their lives?
As Anna pulls away from Jacob, he rubs his eyes perhaps to hide a tear that might have escaped.
And he is left alone in the shower to reflect on his thoughts. As the film cuts to black.
But is this reflective shower the end or the beginning? Was looking at their past a sign that their history is too strong, their love too much to let the relationship die? Water has the redemptive power to cleanse and restore. Was the shower a baptism for the new chapter in their life, living together as husband and wife in the same city, under the same roof? Or was it to wash away the past as they have drifted too far apart to save the relationship? They'll always have their memories and the love that they've shared, but sometimes love just isn't enough to keep you together. Past experiences don't always reflect a bright future. Something Like Crazy, with the eventual fate of the film, knows a little too well.