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Like Crazy 

A bittersweet charmer that's a welcome respite from the usual slate of treacly rom-coms

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Like millions before them, two college kids meet and fall in love: Anna (Felicity Jones) is English, studying abroad in Los Angeles, and hopes to be a writer; Jacob (Anton Yelchin) designs furniture. So many plans for the future! But Anna violates the terms of her student visa, and after graduation is unable to return to the U.S. She gets a job at a magazine in London, Jacob opens a furniture studio in L.A. The two juggle a trans-Atlantic relationship, trying to preserve the emotional intensity of their shared past while also moving forward with new, and separate, lives.

Like Crazy, directed by Drake Doremus, isn't your typical multiplex romance: It's more drama than comedy, and more indie than Hollywood. Low-key performances and awkward silences add to the feeling of intimacy, as does Doremus' use of handheld cameras.

Viewers pining for the familiar tropes and easy resolutions of typical movie love stories may be disappointed, but anyone who's roamed life's actual romantic terrain will recognize the film's truths: Falling in love is exhilarating, terrifying and can lead to impulsive decisions with significant consequences; maintaining a relationship is tough, especially a long-distance one; and early adulthood can be a time of great change, as the vagaries of adolescence coalesce into the grown-up life one chooses. Like Crazy, penned by Doremus with Ben York Jones, is wise and nonjudgmental about all this. It's a bittersweet charmer that's a welcome respite from the usual slate of treacly rom-coms.

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