Have you ever really loved someone?
'Like Crazy' must be one of the most underrated films of late. It is a feat when a filmmaker is able to create a work of art that is both Hollywood romance and staunch realistic. Many girls have been smitten by that cute TA in the otherwise boring class. Here, U.K. visiting student Anna eyes her TA Jacob. Unlike the bulk of us, Anna sheepishly leaves a love note on Jacob’s car with her number on it. Whereas most notes on cars are deemed creepy, Jacob finds himself captivated by the foreign student’s audacity and charm. Fast forward through the awkward first date and the audience quickly sees the intoxicating passion between the two young students. “I love you...like crazy,” Anna whispers to Jacob. Pay attention to the way the two look at each other. The facial muscles and lips barely move and no words are spoken, but the audience can feel every ounce of love between the two.
On the last day of her student visa (and ostensibly, their last day together in the same continent for months), Anna first turns completely cold to Jacob, then in a sudden sweep of awakening, declares her decision to stay for the summer in violation of her visa. We see shot after shot of the couple embracing in bed each night in different attire, a montage proving that every second of her extended stay was nothing short of wonderful, crazy love.
The wise say one must never make a permanent decision based on temporary feelings. It is difficult as an outsider to look at the story and say, “She should have just waited the summer.” Because when you are young, in love, and in the moment, all that you can think about is the immediate future, as in the next hour or the next day.
The audience heart-wrenchingly watches as Anna and Jacob are physically, and later emotionally, ripped apart by their inability to be with each other. Anna’s decision in the moment to stay by a few months triggers agonizing consequences for both parties for years to follow. You can love someone you distrust. You can resent someone you can’t stop caring about. You can throw yourself at the most perfect other option. But when the passion is so consuming, you quickly find yourself circling back to the exact love that both lifts you up and crashes you down.
We are not spoiling the ending when we say that it deeply saddened us. Sometimes the thing we want most in life is to freeze the pane in our autobiographies to a time when things were so perfect. In this case, it’s the moment when Anna and Jacob were so unconditionally and crazy in love.
You don’t have to be fans of romantic stories to appreciate the underlying message of the film: you can only control so much of your life. The great thing about life is that nothing is ever certain. The bad thing about life is that nothing can be certain, no matter how hard one could work and hope for.