The beautiful Amanda Crewe brings the film to life…
Crazy Kind of Love is based on the popular debut novel ‘Angel Angel’ by April Stevens, and first-time director, Sarah Siegel-Magness, has handled it surprisingly well. Sarah received an Oscar nod for production in the multi Academy Award-winning Precious, but can she carry her success through to this film? With the help of a decent screenplay, by the highly talented Karen McCullah (The House Bunny, Legally Blond), Sarah at least stood a better chance of making this a solid movie.
From the outset I started finding fault in the predictably cliche dialogue and some of the situations they were finding themselves in, but even so, this movie had loads of charm, and became rather addictive once it found its footing. There is an unmistakable likeness to several recent movies, such as Hesher, Mental and the one and only Juno, but Crazy Kind of Love stands on its own two feet, and may find itself being held in as high regard, but only time will tell. Augusta (Virginia Madsen) has just been left by husband Gordie (Anthony LaPaglia), and is now having a mild breakdown, so doesn’t leave her room for weeks. Her sons Henry (Graham Rogers) and Matthew (Zach Gilford), are pretty much useless, having their own problems to keep them occupied, but an unexpected person enters their lives, forcing them to deal with their problems head-on, and not bottle them all up, as they’ve been doing up to now.
Amanda Crew plays the outspoken, bubblingly-confidant Bette, and is now Henry’s live-in girlfriend, but she almost single-handedly brought this entire film to life. Her acting was actually extremely good, and would certainly have me eating out the palm-of-her-hand. In fact, the acting was very good by everyone, with even the likes of Sam Trammell (Jeff), who didn’t have a huge role, still doing extremely well, and better than anything I’ve seen him do in True Blood. The talented Virginia Madsen (who replaced Meg Ryan in this) was horizontal for most of the movie, and didn’t get to do all that much, but it’s always good watching her perform.
The direction was pretty solid for a debut, as Sarah Siegel-Magness steered this tidy little production with relative ease, and I’m almost certain has found her calling. There were admittedly little in the way of risks taken in her direction, but Sarah has shown great promise, with plenty of time to experiment. I happened to like her sure, slightly off centre technique, and don’t see it as anything other than good. I will be interested to see what the director’s next project will, be as she has an unmistakable quirkiness that will sit well more in some than others, but for now, I’m very glad to have enjoyed her first movie, and look forward to, hopefully, enjoying the next.