LIKE CRAZY (La pazza gioia, and not to be confused with the Anton Yelchin/Felicity Jones rom-com from 2011) arrives via that grand Italian master of the off-kilter family dram-com, Paolo Virzi, who has already given us a quintet of terrific movies: My Name Is Tonino, Caterina in the Big City, The First Beautiful Thing, Every Blessed Day, and Human Capital. His latest is his best. And that, movie lovers, is saying something.
The remainder of the movie tracks their movements -- and those of their care-takers -- as the women try to reconnect with their former lives, and we, via the very ingeniously inserted flashbacks, fantasies and delightful dialog, learn more and more about exactly who these two really are.
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (above, right, and only recently seen in the dreadful Slack Bay) and Micaela Ramazzotti (above, left, of The First Beautiful Thing), these women will eventually become two of the most memorable characters you'll have cared for on screen. Ms Tedeschi is a whirlwind of motor-mouth amazement as the lady who may (or may not) have links to Italy's power crowd, while Ms Ramazzotti plays the poor, sad but resilient mother of a child who has been taken from her, for reasons we eventually discover.
Francesca Archibugi, bring to the party is a splendid mix of liveliness and incident that never once flags. You'll have a hard time recalling another movie with as high an energy level as this one put to such smart and delicious use.
TrustMovies often pooh-poohs the use of coincidence in films, the very big one Virzi hands us in his penultimate scene at the beach seems so right and so somehow earned that you may shed those tears as copiously as you need without experiencing a trace of guilt.
David Di Donatello awards (Italy's Oscars) and, if that country has the good sense to submit it for our Best Foreign Language Film category, it may walk away with that prize, too.
Their Finest, one character explains that the big difference between life and movies is that life really has no purpose, while movies are able to take life and then give it that. Like Crazy, just like Their Finest, puts this theory into magical, meaningful practice.