DRAKE DOREMUS' Like Crazy is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of intense young love—and its frequent collaborator, carelessness. Ponderously shot and marked by tasteful montages and scenes of uneasily intimate pillow play, there's much to praise technically, including strong performances from Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. Boundary-testing truthfulness is Like Crazy's best attribute, however—lacking as it is of insight or any level of intrigue sufficient to sustain sympathy for its protagonists. Instead, its characters offer only youth and naïvité to excuse what is often a combination of selfish, self-destructive, abusive, or just plain dumb behavior.
Anna (Jones) is the British child of indulgent intellectuals who fail to prevent their daughter from making the self-defeating error of blowing off the terms of her student visa. It's this visa that has enabled her to avoid the notoriously inadequate institutes of British higher education in favor of the privilege of studying abroad in Los Angeles, where she has fallen into a consuming romance with Jacob (Yelchin). He too fails to prevent Anna from sabotaging their relationship when she decides at the last minute that spending the summer stateside with him is worth ignoring her visa's expiration in the post-9/11 age. Thus she creates a fundamental roadblock to the continuation of their love—for the sake of their love!—by getting herself banned from reentry to the country.
One might pity the predicament of these two (cue saccharine but lovely montage of improvised cavorting) were this a sole instance of entitled folly—but as they go on to develop new lives apart, including intimate relationships with (attractive and better-matched) partners who they unceremoniously dump every time they decide to make another bullheaded long-distance go of it, it becomes off-putting to be asked to relate to their increasingly futile and cruel stubbornness. We may all be a little clumsy at that age, but to remember it as fondly as Crazy asks us to is questionable at best.