Tropic Sprockets / Like Crazy

By Ian Brockway

From director Paolo Virzi (Human Capital) comes “Like Crazy,” an emotional and edgy film that feels like a comedy at first  and spins into darker orbits of obsession and co-dependence. While not being a conventional drama or a comedy there are madcap moments. The film is ultimately a portrait of a friendship, highlighting the dramatic journey of two friends who are residents in a mental health facility.

In spirit and tone, the story resembles the work of Pedro Almodovar with a nod to “Thelma and Louise”.

Beatrice (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) is a patient in a facility who lies and spins wild tales with delusions of grandeur. While impersonating a doctor, Beatrice meets another patient Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti) an empathetic and sensitive manic depressive. The two swap stories and form a connection. While waiting on a ride from work, they decide to escape and go a shopping spree and do the town, without money.  They visit their mothers (Beatrice’s mom is played by Tedeschi’s real life mother, Marisa Borini), doctors and ex-husbands, causing confusion wherever they go.

Beatrice gets increasingly manic and Donatella grows volatile and nasty, but they band together to see Donatella’s young son Elia (Emanuele Galleri). 

While not completely original, the two actors have a wonderful chemistry and both of them portray their roles with a gusto and bravery that borders on punk rock. Part of the fun is in watching just how far the pair goes.

With a plot that moves from high comedy to drama as quickly as its zipping camera, “Like Crazy” is a riotious and punchy road movie that is extremely vivid and almost psychedelic in its coupling of Beatrice and Donatella.

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