i thought i understood it

like crazy (2011, a favorite)

jacob and anna are two people that want to be together. like crazy starts back when anna is a foreign student, hailing from uk to study in america. jacob is an american student anna feels a particular interest in, and sends a two or three page long letter to, including a poem by e.e cummings and a shy p.s that begs jacob to not think that she is a 'nutcase'

they go out on a date and at night anna asks jacob to 'come up' to her room, they drink whisky and both parties' interests in specific fields are on display here. jacob is a furniture design student and he asks to sit on anna's chair, which he claims to be rather uncomfortable. anna is a communication/journalism student, and likes reading/writing. jacob asks anna read me something and she asks what do you want me to read and he says anything you wrote. anna gets jacob to promise not to laugh at her and she proceeds with the reading

i thought i understood it
that i could grasp it
but i didn't, not really
only the smudgeness of it; the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it
i didn't realize it would sometimes be more than whole
that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea
because it's the halves that halve you in half
i didn't know, don't know, about the in-between bits
the gory bits of you
and the gory bits of me

they leave anna's place and anna keeps staring at jacob from behind the glass door and jacob realizes this, he goes back to the glass door and they trace each other's hands through the door, at this point i felt weird but sweet at the same time

the relationship progresses well, we will see montage of their times together doing fun things and silly things, and through these few minutes we are made understood of the successful reciprocity, what each has for the other resembles the idea of an ideal outcome of a romantic exchange

however anna has to go back to her home country and a mistake is made, which is an impulsive decision to overstay her visa and this seemingly petty thing becomes a giant spur that turns into a ground for the obstacles in their relationship for years to come

some critics bash her here for being stupid, but i think this is a very one-sided opinion. i personally feel it is understandable to find something that you really like in another place other than your home, that makes you want to stay, that outweighs your past, that prompts a hasty decision to be made. also, living on a temporary visa is not an easy thing and a lot of people overstay and it does not mean that they are stupid, i think. the director drake doresmus states that this movie is roughly based on his ex-wife's encounter with immigration problem. so if a person watches this film and has zero sympathy for anna at this point/reproach the basic premise i do not think this movie is for him or her

what i like is that despite the problems that have to be overcome no one goes on the blame game with anna for overstaying in the first place (in real life, it is very tempting to do so), no navel gazing, no tongue lashing, no nagging from jacob or anna herself

and then they proceed to a long distance relationship

a friend comments that the alternating flow of affection between both of them feels like an itch and i would agree, but this kind of thing is ongoing, it continues to keep starting and stopping, which is not easy

i do not know if this is to teach a lesson on long distance relationship, everyone has a different threshold, although i assume a general consensus is that people would like to be close to someone toward whom they feel strong liking, and hence ldr is not a preferred option, at least initially; there is presumably no one who would like to develop relationship with physical distance, there are only people who do not mind

because it is hard to imagine something as real as a deeply felt touch or a kiss would turn into an idea that lingers in your mind, and suddenly you find yourself holding to something intangible that you thought was concrete. this loosens your grip, and turns into a huge disappointment, and is made possible with distance

also in like crazy strength of love is shown as a poor indicator of the success rate of long distance relationship, there are many other variables that cannot be kept at constant

and when you are not together with your object of desire and start seeing other people with your mind not present, it is mostly the thought that the other person must be doing it too so why should i hold back and the other person is thinking the same way and hence this is mostly how the threads between them start unraveling

but anna speaks to jacob that there is something that is not going to go away / things that we have for each other that / that i don't have with any other person / any human being apart from you

the relationship feels very plausible/believable, also there is transition from flip phone to iphone which i think is cute, and several references to draw as little distance as possible with young audience (eg nylon mag, electronic/8bit-ish music gig)


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