Directed by Drake Doremus
Jacob, an American, and Anna, a Brit, meet at college in California and fall in love. When Anna overstays her Visa, the two find themselves seperated.
After the first viewing of the trailer a long time ago, I was excited to watch it. It was a romance film, but it was also receiving good reviews from critics, and was winning film festival awards. So I knew it'd be a little bit better of a film than something like Dear John. And between watching that trailer and reviewing it now, I've watched this film four or five times.
This film is pretty unique in a few ways. It was shot on a DSLR camera. You know, like one of those Canon T2i ones. So it already has this indie hipster feel. Additionally, most of the dialogue between Anna and Jacob was improvised. Drake Doremus gave the general direction of what he wanted to happen in each scene, but Anton Yelchin (Jacob) and Felicity Jones (Anna) did the rest mostly improve. So that being said, this film would either be pretty stiff and awkward, or it would be very natural and realistic. And it was definitely the latter that came through. The two of them have funny little conversations, and really seem to think through the questions they ask each other, like they would in real life. It's cute, and believable, and makes it seem like you're watching a real couple. It doesn't sound at all scripted, because they aren't saying anything cliche or poetic. It's just them, and it's really neat to watch.
Anton Yelchin, on the other hand, won nothing for his portrayal as Jacob. To me, his performance is severely underrated. Jacob is so different, yet so similar to Anna. They're both quirky, like Paul Simon, and is just really goofy, yet really artsy too. But Jacob tries to move on when they decide to. He knows he still loves Anna, but he tries to go on with his life, whereas Anna is a lot more tied to the past and their history. Not to say Jacob doesn't love Anna, because he does, but he shows it in different ways. Anton really balances the conflicted side of Jacob, and the fun-loving goofy side, and also the sensitive side.
Overall, I love this film so much. The music is gorgeous, and while it's made up of so many montage scenes, they also don't feel scripted either. They're goofy, and unconventional, and you really think these 2 people are in love in their quirky ways.
The ending, while some people were unsatisfied, it so portrays the way things end in real life. I won't say much more, but I'll say I respect the direction Drake Doremus chose to go and how to end it. It's heartbreaking, yet so believable.
Yes, I love this movie, and pretty much everything about it. It's sad, it's cute, it's comfy, it's a tearjerker, but overall, it's lovely, with hearbreaking performances (and also a nice little Jennifer Lawrence in it!).