The 2021 Spanish film ‘Crazy About Her’ is a romantic comedy with a unique plot – cocky journalist Adri (Álvaro Cervantes) falls for a mysterious girl Carla (Susana Abaitua) after what was supposed to be a ‘one night stand’, only to find out that she lives in a mental health facility. An unfazed lovelorn Adri admits himself into the facility with a fake psychiatric diagnosis, just to get Carla’s number. But Carla is not interested in his romantic advances and Adri finds himself trapped in the psychiatric facility, because once a patient is admitted, they cannot just waltz out when they feel like.
The first 10-15 minutes of this film was cliche overload, two attractive strangers meet and decide to do crazy stuff together – which is gate-crashing a wedding. It’s not 2005 and wedding-crashers are not interesting anymore. However, that one night of wedding-crashing is enough for the playboy Adri to fall head over heels in love. The story gets a little better once Adri gets into the mental-health facility, but he is an asshole about people with mental illness. It’s only after he his forced to spend a few days with them that he realizes they are fellow human-beings that deserve the same dignity as everyone else.
While initially it felt like ‘Crazy About Her’ trivializes mental health, as the plot progresses it introduces some very likable characters and the script gets more empathetic. There is a touching sub-plot about Adri’s roommate Saul (Luis Zahera who reminded me of Robert De Niro), who is Schizophrenic, and finds himself being alienated from his family. In-fact, most of the support cast was more interesting than the lead pair. Aixa Villagran was fun as the feisty Marta, who suffers from depression due to her tourette syndrome, a disorder that causes uncontrollable repetitive movements by the body and unwanted vocal sounds. We don’t get much background on Carla, so most viewers might just be indifferent to her character.
The script was all over the place, like it suffered from bipolar disorder, because the plot would flit between incredibly cringe-y to witty, with some very heartwarming moments in between. One scene that tickled my ribs was Adri’s first attempt to escape the facility, his roommate Saul seriously suggests that he jump off the window. Adri considers the option for a second, but when he looks at the height, he reprimands Saul, screaming “are you fucking nuts?!”… to which Saul smoothly responds straight-faced, ‘yes, I have been diagnosed’. It was hilarious.
After having an entertaining middle portion, the movie again descends to becoming predictably mushy and I felt like fast-forwarding the climax. The ending was ridiculously cheesy. Despite all its flaws, the makers manage to give a positive message on mental health in ‘Crazy About Her’. As a viewer, I have very mixed-feelings about the movie. I guess I would give it a 6/10.
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