British exchange student Anna ( Felicity Jones) and classmate Jacob ( Anton Yelchin) fall in love while he’s spending a semester in LA. However, a kerfuffle with a visa sees them forced to conduct their relationship at a distance of 6,000 miles and, as careers and other people become more important, cracks begin to appear.
This is a refreshing take on the age-old problem of a long-distance relationship. I first watched this when I was on the hunt for a good indie rom-com, ’cause I just love those, even if they do make you weep for a while afterwards. Not only was I drawn to its use of Bokeh photograhy and documentary style filmmaking- it was Felicity Jones. You’ve hopefully seen her in Northanger Abbey (the ITV version) which is simply the most sublime Austen novel there is- I’d recommend it if you’re in the Gothic. She displays simple, innocent elegance but has the ability to show an adventurous side within that. The point is, she is stunning and a perfect example of British talent.
However, despite Jones’ yumminess she is the most annoying character you will ever come across (perhaps falling a close second to Daisy from Gatsby). Again, a bit like Eleanor and Park we’re taken on this authentic journey of them falling in love, and we’re sharing their romantic moments and its all lovely. Then, this is where the trouble happens- they get too carried away with falling in love, and Anna outstays her visa. They keep their romance alive by continuing to see each other back and forth for the next SEVEN YEARS.
I guess we could compare it to One Day, but I won’t for now because that will require its own review. All I will say is : run over by a fucking car. What the fuck.
We’re on this journey for seven years, and its a will they won’t they story which for some reason keeps people like me simultaneously frustrated and hooked all at the same time. I just like a happy ending, that’s all. There’s moments of hope- when the pair decide they must get married in order to be together, but that’s not really what they want seeing as they haven’t spent enough time together to be ready for that kind of commitment. It’s as a annoyingly charming as Blue Valentine was.
I think the thing I love most about this film, is the improvised acting. This can sometimes leave the door wide open for pretension. However, the cast pull it off in a sweet, under-the-skin of the relationship way which when coupled with twenty-eight year old director Drake Doremus’s handheld works a treat, and it was especially praised by all at Sundance.