If we overlook the opening and end-credits, ‘Like Crazy’s (2011) runtime is less than 90 minutes. And yet, this short, low-budgeted film manages to tell an incredibly dense story about young love and the effects that physical distance can potentially have on it. University students Anna Gardner (Felicity Jones) and Jacob Helm (Anton Yelchin) fall head over heels for each other.
But Anna, who is a British exchange student, has to go back to the UK after her student visa runs out. Their unbridled passion is subsequently tested by the physical distance between them and the time they spend away from each other. The film is reportedly based on the real-life relationship between director Drake Doremus and an Austrian woman named Desiree Pappenscheller. If you are wondering whether Anna and Jacob end up together, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Like Crazy Plot Synopsis
Anna and Jacob are students at the same university in Los Angeles. She aspires to become a journalist while he studies furniture designing. One day, after class, she leaves a love letter on his windshield. Jacob reads it with a growing smile on his face and downright laughs out loud when he sees that she has asked him not to think of her as a “nutcase” in the postscript. He calls the number that she has also written down on the letter, and the two of them subsequently embark on a whirlwind romance.
After graduation and with the expiration date on Anna’s student visa quickly approaching, her parents, Bernard (Oliver Muirhead) and Jackie (Alex Kingston), repeatedly warn her about it. They come for a short visit and immediately take a liking to Jacob. Despite all the warnings, Anna stays few extra weeks in the US as she wants to extend their time together as much as possible. This decision is soon proven to be extremely short-sighted as it has a long-term catastrophic effect. On her way back to the US, Anna is prevented from entering the country at the airport because of the visa violation and is sent back to the UK.
Predictably, the separation starts to affect their relationship. They get busy with their lives as they enter the workforce. But soon enough, all those real emotions they have for each other become too hard to overlook. Jacob shuts down his business and travels to the UK to be with Anna. During a dinner with Anna’s family, Jacob discovers that Bernard and Jackie have gotten a lawyer for the immigration issue. Bernard later suggests that Anna and Jacob should just get married, which, according to him, will be much more convenient and cheaper.
However, Jacob isn’t mentally and emotionally prepared to make that commitment. He goes back to the US and starts a relationship with Samantha (Jennifer Lawrence). Both he and Anna desperately try to move on with their respective lives but realize they can’t. Anna reaches out to Jacob and suggests that they should go ahead and marry. This time, Jacob agrees.
But then marriage proves to be not enough. Anna still doesn’t get a visa. Amidst frustration and anger, jealousy and suspicion take root. They part ways once more, and Jacob returns to Los Angeles once more. He begins dating Samantha again, while Anna gets involved with a man named Simon (Charlie Bewley). This is when Anna finally gets her new visa. Her present circumstances make it look like it’s too late. Her parents meet Simon. Realizing that he likes to control several aspects of their daughter’s life, they immediately start to hate him. Ridiculously oblivious to other people’s feelings, Simon proposes to Anna in front of her parents. She says no and decides to get on a flight to the US.
Like Crazy Ending: Will Anna and Jacob End Up Together?
As the film has an open and ambiguous ending, there are multiple possible answers to this question. The most obvious one is that they will not. After Anna arrives in Los Angeles, Jacob greets her with flowers in his hand, just like he had planned to do the first time she was coming back to him and was denied entry into the US. However, it quickly becomes apparent that something has changed between them. Their love has always been profoundly primal and rapidly emotional.
But after the reunion, it seems like the things they have endured all this while have finally taken their toll on their relationship. After they reach Jacob’s home, Anna goes for a shower, and Jacob soon joins her. As they stand together in the most intimate way possible, they recall the wonderful memories they have made with each other and seemingly realize that their relationship is approaching its inevitable end.
Oftentimes, love is not enough to sustain a relationship. Convenience is important, so is a willingness to sacrifice for each other. The first time Jacob travels to the UK, he is forced to close his business for a few weeks, something he feels deeply uncomfortable about. As they try to maintain their long-distance relationship, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to balance it with their respective work. It is only after that they part ways from each other that they achieve true professional success. And this is just only one part of the intricate undoing of their relationship.
The time they have spent away from each other has changed them so much that the other person doesn’t recognize them. Moreover, Doremus and Pappenscheller’s relationship and their brief marriage didn’t work out in real life. If we consider that, we can safely say that Anna and Jacob will eventually break up again and go their separate ways.
However, the film’s open ending lets the audience speculate about other possibilities. It is always possible that Anna and Jacob have a long conversation after the shower and eventually manage to work things out. Another possibility is that they follow the precedence that they themselves have set and part ways temporarily. But, later, they get back. This circle continues until they are ready to acknowledge that they can’t live without each other.
What Happens to Samantha?
Samantha is Jacob’s secondary love interest in the film. After his marriage with Anna doesn’t work out, he comes back to the US and resumes his relationship with Samantha. However, when Anna decides to return to the US, the audience suddenly finds Samantha missing from Jacob’s life. After learning that Anna is coming to the US again, Jacob most likely breaks Samantha’s heart again and ends things with her. The director chooses not to show this probably because a similar scene happened earlier in the film, and it would have been just a repetition of it. So, he leaves it to the audience to draw their conclusions in this regard.
Read More: Is Like Crazy a True Story?