Recent on screen love stories being what they are, its easy to stop believing in love as an emotion and as a viable, real piece of the human equation. But where supposedly mature films like Pearl Harbor have grabbed hold of love and taken a big stinky piss all over it, supposedly immature teen film Crazy/Beautiful grabs hold of love in all its glory and splendor and brings the reality of that greatest emotion home in a way few movies these days even bother to try and do.
Crazy/Beautiful stars Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez as two teens from opposite sides of the tracks. Over time, they fall for each other despite the seeming impossibility of their relationship. Dunst is the daughter of a wealthy senator, who, tortured by her mother's death, has become a party girl, skipping class, abusing alcohol and drugs, and quickly headed towards self destruction. Hernandez is a poor Spanish kid from the ghetto, who busses 2 hours a day to go to Dunst's school. He wants to make something of himself and to do so, tries his best to do everything right.
This isn't love at first site, nor is it some sort of instant Ez-Bake passion. Its real. Two people meet, they talk, they learn, and eventually fall in love, and then nothing can break them apart. There are trials, there are dangers, there's no easy road to happiness, nor can they simply cast away their pasts and start some new and magical future.
In spite of the fact that Crazy/Beautiful is at its heart a teen movie, it holds a deep seated maturity that far surpasses that of any other love story you are likely to see onscreen. Have all filmmakers been reduced to 60 second love stories where people trip over each other and fall madly in love? What about the joy and magic of just getting to know each other, of growing together, of learning about all those little crazy beautiful quirks that make life worth living together? Dunst and Hernandez live it and through them you live their growing love too.
Don't pass up a chance to see something real. Don't pass up a chance to see a movie that actually FEELS something. If you're afraid of that, go see Pearl Harbor again and let your brain ooze calmly out your ear. I for one plan to make a statement to all the shallow two bit money grubbers and see Crazy/Beautfiful again.
Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler