With Valentine’s Day approaching, Octagon staffers are reviewing movies that will put you and your special someone (or perhaps just you) in the right romantic mood. (Also see A hot guy, a ditzy friend, a happy ending, and an armed robbery—’Clueless’ has it all and Classic ‘When Harry Met Sally’ will make you want what Meg is having)

If you find yourself sitting alone on Valentine’s Day slowly but surely making your way through a gallon of ice cream, it might be a good idea to watch somebody else in love. A poor substitute but a substitute nonetheless.

I’m a sucker when it comes to love stories. The reason “Like Crazy” stands out is because it isn’t a run-of-the-mill chick flick.

Instead of telling the winding tale of how the two lovers end up together, “Like Crazy” starts off with Anna and Jacob becoming a couple and then takes us through the journey of the relationship.

“Like Crazy” is the story of Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin). The movie moves back and forth between Santa Monica, Jacob’s hometown, and London, Anna’s hometown.

Anna and Jacob meet while Anna is studying in Santa Monica and they fall in love “like crazy.” But visa complications send Anna back to London, adding a twist to their love story.

What immediately stands out is the realistic awkwardness in the beginning of their relationship. Although I love clichéd Disney movies, it’s refreshing to see a more lifelike representation of a relationship.

When Anna first shares her feelings with Jacob, she makes it a point to say that she is not a nutcase, even if the letter she writes to him may prove otherwise.

The struggles which Anna and Jacob face are relayed effectively because of the amazing acting, the movie’s strongest point.

The movie dives into the problems in a relationship when the couple is together and when the couple is apart. The actors do an incredible job of taking us through the roller coaster of emotions that they feel over the course of about two hours.

On their first date, Anna and Jacob stand on opposite sides of a window staring at each other and, without saying a word, they make us feel the awkwardness and love in that moment.

Another touching scene is when Anna, distraught, calls Jacob from London, trying to convince him to come visit her. Unlike the long-distance struggle in “Dear John,” this one accurately depicts the emotional wreck the lovers are left in after being separated.

The movie’s weak point is that the transitions from one scene to another are choppy at times. There were moments when I was unsure whether I was watching a flashback or what was taking place in the present.

Nevertheless I was hooked from start to finish, avidly watching while munching on my popcorn.

So at the end I stared at the screen a few minutes, dumbfounded. Bittersweet and unexpected are the only words I have for the ending.

A perfect balance of a fairy tale and a Nicholas Sparks tragedy, it left tears in my eyes.

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