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Reel Critics: It's like, you know …

TheftJustice SystemLike Crazy (movie)Charlie BewleyCasey AffleckAnton Yelchin

Anyone who's ever been in love will smile at the young lovers in "Like Crazy," even while they find them annoying.

Anna (Felicity Jones) is an aspiring writer and Jacob (Anton Yelchin) a shy furniture designer, both attending a Los Angeles university. We follow them through endless misty water-colored memories montages of them kissing, cuddling and grinning at each other like crazy.

Anna foolishly decides to ignore the terms of her student visa. She goes home to England for a visit and is shocked when the big bad immigration people refuse re-entry into the U.S. Don't they know she's in love? And so they miss each other like — well, you know.

Through immaturity or just plain laziness, the lovers drift apart. Until they have to be together again. And then they have to be apart. Back and forth, forth and back, until we really don't care anymore.

The true heartbreak is when Jacob and Anna form relationships with other people. Poor Samantha (Jennifer Lawrence) and Simon (Charlie Bewley) seem to be truly, madly, deeply in love with our wishy-washy stars, only to be cruelly rejected.

"Like Crazy" had a great buildup but didn't live up to my expectations. Sometimes love is like that, too. Crazy, I know.

*

Crime caper for some laughs

"Tower Heist" is the latest in a long list of lightweight crime caper movies played for laughs. It follows in the footsteps of films like "Ocean's Eleven" while adding a little more grit to the time-worn plot.

A cast of misfits are thrown together by circumstance to become unlikely conspirators. They seek to pull off a very grand larceny in a high-security skyscraper in New York.

Alan Alda does a fine job playing the Wall Street swindler living in the penthouse of the target building. He has pilfered the pension funds of the hard-working staff of his luxury skyscraper. Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck and Matthew Broderick are among the former employees whose futures were stolen by the con artist.

They form an alliance for revenge with a small-time crook played by Eddie Murphy. He brings high energy and street vibe humor to the enterprise.

As usual, the motley crew faces impossible circumstances trying to pull off the big heist. But along the predictable path to victory, there's enough snappy dialogue and genuine laughter to make it worth your while if you're a fan of this genre.

SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a company in Irvine. JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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