Sunday, December 4, 2011
After Seeing Like Crazy I Feel, Like, Crazy.
So I just saw Like Crazy and I don't think my emotions will ever recover. Nope, I'm doomed to pay the price for seeing this movie in the currency of tears for the rest of my life. Still, kind of worth it. See, it wasn't all crying and snot running down my face, although it really was a lot of that. It was an intelligent film that really got me thinking about love- first love in particular. I left feeling drained of all emotions, upset that it was over, and with the wheels in my head turning. What was I thinking about exactly? Stay tuned...
(Warning- this may contain spoilers. Not direct spoilers, but you might find out some stuff you wouldn't have wanted to know before seeing the film. Look, it's not The Sixth Sense. I'm not ruining it for you or anything but whatever. You've been warned.)
Like Crazy tells the prolonged love story of Anna and Jacob, a story of first love, and that intense passion and blindness that accompanies it. College sweethearts torn apart by immigration law (she's from England, he's from LA), they are at times both fighting for and against their relationship. Portraying the reality of first love, it shows the terrifying nature of it, along with the wondrous naivete of what's to come. The film encapsulates the mishmash of emotions involved just beautifully, through beautiful acting. Of course their relationship isn't without other complications- the main source of this being distance for these two particular lovers. No stranger to long distance love myself, I've had my fair share of missed phone dates, jealousy and late night arguments. Like Crazy actually does depict long-distance love in a totally real way, something rarely seen in movies. It doesn't try to fake the pain the characters are experiencing, instead showing flashes of it in their happiness. That's what happens in long distance relationships, it becomes what pulls you down and out of your otherwise happy life. Knowing that the actors in the film were given a guideline to work off of, and were then to improvise their lines only makes me love the film that much more. I really think that is the root of the authenticity here. The entire movie from start to finish is a beautifully convincing story of love, longing and distance. It begs the question- should you hold onto your first love or let it go? When is the distance too much? When do you actually start to become different people?
The film poses these questions to the viewers through clever storytelling. It doesn't outright give you clear cut answers as to what's right and wrong here, instead leaving you to draw your own conclusions. And believe me, I did. Of course, I bring my own emotional crap to the first love debate... I come from a long line of first love turned lifelong commitment. My Mom's parents met and started dating in high school. My Dad's parents were married before both of them were even 18 (Mexicans.) And my parents were high school sweethearts. When I stop and think about all of that, all I can think is "SERIOUSLY!?" It's not fair, right? It's not like they put pressure on me in any way, but it just sort of skewed my perspective when I was younger. Like, that's what you did. Turns out- nope. That's not what you do. What you do is live your life, and figure out your love life along the way... Well, that's my way of looking at it. Times are different now. Leaving behind your first love is sometimes for the best. Cut the chord, or whatever. But even still, in 2011, people will marry their first boyfriend who they met in junior high and be totally happy. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Only right and wrong for each particular situation. Come to think of it, maybe Like Crazy gives that very message. It's really the only rational conclusion to draw. The movie doesn't say it directly, though. More like, if you go home right after seeing the movie and sit for hours thinking about it, you'll probably come to this conclusion. You're also probably a loser like me. It's okay. Embrace it.
More than anything, I will adore this film until the end of time for making me think so deeply about love. Being a single girl (token single friend), thinking about relationships and all of that hoopla isn't like a favorite pastime of mine. There's really no need. I go about my life singing "lalalalala I love my life" not giving that much attention to my love life, as much as I can help it. But sometimes it is nice to watch a true love story unfold on screen, the ups and downs, the gut-wrenching misery, the beautiful happiness... As a single girl, it gave me some sort of hope. Sappy wah wah wah, I know. But it's true! It's interesting, someone I went with had the feeling that for some reason Anna and Jacob's love was more spectacular than the average person's first love. I didn't see it that way. I saw a love story that anyone is capable of, just with the right person. Getting lost in Like Crazy, made me feel like everyone will one day have their boy meets girl story. The ending isn't guaranteed, as it never is. Along the way, adventures will be had.
Bring Kleenex. It's a tear jerker.