Like Crazy

Escaping from a low-security mental institution in Tuscany, an unlikely pair bonds through some wacky adventures.

The often-underused Valeria Bruni Tedeschi finally gets a proper vehicle for her talents in Paolo Virzi’s breezy comedy Like Crazy, their latest collaboration after the considerably heavier Human Capital. Beatrice (Tedeschi) is a would-be socialite flibbertigibbet who’s a patient at a low-security psychiatric clinic in scenic Tuscany. After she takes a platonic shine to skinny, tattooed, and quite withdrawn newcomer Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti in what would have been the Hilary Swank role in a mid-2000s American film), they escape the clinic. Heading into the city to experience freedom, they confront both their painful pasts and their only-slightly-less-painful present.

Like Crazy is an episodic road movie of the sort in which there aren’t necessarily high physical stakes. The characters continually move on from situations that would have ended their adventures, because the mechanics of the plot are far less important than the characters’ emotional states (and their developing relationship). Along the way, Like Crazy depicts a charming Tuscany in which Valium is available over the counter without a prescription — BRB, applying for Italian citizenship — and mental institutions are such low-key affairs that not only do the patients get to use their cell phones, but the head of the clinic Dr. Zappa (Valentina Carnelutti) has crayon-colored hair, too. There are worse places to be not entirely sane.

Like Crazy
Not rated.
Opens Friday at the Opera Plaza Cinema.

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