In both Like Crazy and 5 to 7, Anton Yeltchin is the twenty-something hapless right brainer who stumbles into love as if it were a pothole. His charm single-handedly carries both films. Although he knows better, although we know this is not going to end well, he deliberately chooses heart over head as only the young can do.
Watching either movie is bittersweet: like scratching a scab.
On the one hand, there’s delicious nostalgia for narcotic first love. The one and only time you believed everything would be perfect forever. Both movies draw out the romantic honeymoon phase for quite a while and in the such elaborate detail. Until finally you are forced to adopt his all-in logic. Perhaps this time it will work out! Maybe they will be the exception.
(Spoiler Alert) And then there’s the bitter. The instant of disillusionment. The first fight or decision to stay with spouses. And the floodgates of pain open. Your flash backs to that high school or college sweetheart will be so powerful they’ll make a PTSD soldier envious.
What makes both so endearing is the hope implicit in the closing scenes. He seems to say, in both films, we will always have the memories. And that will keep the love alive.