Wild, engaging and sometimes disturbing, yet heartfelt, the film Like Crazy (La Pazza Gioia) opens in theaters this weekend. The story plays out like a One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest with a little bit of Thelma and Louise. The acting in the film by the whole cast is exceptionally good and the direction pinpoint sharp. If you would like a little laughter in your evening mixed with a lot of heart, then check out Like Crazy.
A disturbed pompous Beatrice (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) has been walking around the Villa Biondi in Tuscany, Italy like she owns the place. Well she actually thinks she does, but in reality she’s an inmate of the psycho Medical center after going bonkers with her ex-husband. On this particular day she wants to go into town with the other patients, but Patient Director Dottoressa (Valentina Carnelutti) wants Beatrice to stay behind.
Later that day a new patient, Donatella Morelli (Micaela Ramazzotti), arrives at the facility and gets checked in by charge nurse Valentina. Curious about the new patient, Beatrice sneaks into the files and checks out Donatella’s records. She’s not an ordinary patient, as all the others at the facility have not committed a serious offense, but Donatella has come to Villa Biondi under graver circumstances. When Beatrice takes Donatella under her wing, the two plot an escape ending in more than just a holiday away from confinement.
Director Paolo Virzi does a very good job of developing his characters each playing off each other with surprise twists and turns. He makes the story initially comical than turns up the volume as he plays to the heartstrings of his audience. His Beatrice cannot cope with her life at Villa Biondi coming from a wealthy background and an opulent life with rich husband. The other side of the coin has Donatella that has to live with her dark past as she gets pulled along on a wild ride into uncertainty.
What makes the film a winner, is the terrific acting by the two leads. As their characters collide the two women find freedom from their inner fears. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi turns Beatrice into this whimsical irrational woman who talks her way in and out of situations that seem harmless at first, but each leading to her own inner torment. Very vibrant she commands the screen in every scene and should have her audience begging for more when the final curtain closes. Winner of 39 awards, she took home 6 wins for her acting in Like Crazy,
Playing the tormented Donatella, Micaela Ramazzotti shows her range of emotion. Not knowing why Beatrice has chosen her to be her friend, she’s cautious at first not wanting to get in trouble and be sent to the Judicial Psychiatric Hospital. But, when Beatrice chooses to take her freedom, Donatella follows her lead. While on the run Ramazzotti shows how her character blossoms with new hope and lets her partner take control of her fate. A seasoned actress, she has won 18 awards including three awards for Like Crazy.
Like Crazy (La Pazza Gioia) has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains language, drug use and brief nudity. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that are inappropriate for youngsters. The film plays out in the Italian language with English subtitles.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good comedy/drama with a lot of genuine emotion.
Additional Film Information:
Cast: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Micaela Ramazzotti, Valentina Carnelutti,
Directed and story written by: Paolo Virzi
Genre: Drama with Comedy
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, language, drug use, brief nudity
Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Distributed by: Strand Releasing
Released in: Italian with English subtitles
The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.