One of the movies I wanted to see most this fall was the romantic drama Like Crazy, starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. The story follows the young couple as they deal with a seemingly impossible long-distance romance after Jones’ character, Anna, overstays her visa and is banned from the U.S. as a result.
The techniques used in shooting this film are a rarity that we don’t often see coming from Hollywood anymore, like hand-held camera, long shots, long scenes and sparse music. It makes the story not only more realistic, but it also allows it to just tell itself—it doesn’t resort to fancy or special techniques to keep the tale moving. Most of the acting is improvised, and the film has no set script. In a lot of ways, this film seems more expository and naked then even the greatest sex scenes in other movies that are considered great romances.
This enthusiastic review comes from someone who has seen merely the film’s preview. Why, if I want to see this movie so badly – it was released on Friday October 28 – don’t I just see it?
Because, like many of the greatest movies I’ve ever heard of or seen, this movie was a limited release, which means it wasn’t available in every movie theater. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if the closest movie theater to me that was playing it weren’t in Manhattan, specifically at Broadway and West 68th Street. I am nowhere near Broadway and West 68th. In fact, I live exactly 60 miles away from that theater.
Since I don’t have a car, my only option for transportation to the city is the train…and no film-seeking desire in the world would entice me to spend $25 on a train ticket and another $15 on a movie ticket, just to get back on a train and go home.
So now I won’t be seeing Like Crazy, a film that has been a darling of the Independent film circuits, scoring the Grand Jury Prize for drama (awarded to director Drake Doremus) and a Special Jury Prize for dramatic acting by Jones at Sundance; the Hollywood Film Award for Jones and Spotlight Award for Yelchin at the Hollywood Film Festival; and Special Recognition for breakthrough Performance for Yelchin at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
And to be frank, I’m pretty pissed off, because while I enjoy seeing some of the movies we get in mass release, sometimes I can’t help but wonder why there is such a lack of independent and artistic films out here. I understand the point of limited release films; they wouldn’t always appeal to mass audiences, which would cause them to lose money by opening everywhere.
But why can’t a single theater out here play these movies? I mean, yes, Long Island is an island, but we’re not exactly uncivilized, underdeveloped or the size of a peanut. With a population of 7,400,000 people, we are quite densely populated at roughly 5000 people per square mile. So for an island so densely populated, why can’t we have one of our 56 movie theaters playing these movies?
All I can say is that I’m sick and tired of not being able to see movies that are genuinely worth my time and viewing, ones that are real and artistic. Sure, I’ve seen great movies that were released en masse in theaters, but never ones of quite the same caliber as Like Crazy. I’m not asking for every theater to carry the movie. But couldn’t just one, or perhaps two, of these multiplexes with at least 15 screens play a smaller, more independent film?
Maybe one of these days my wish will come true, and I’ll finally get to see a movie I want.