Set under the Tuscany sun, Like Crazy is an award-winning vibrant comedy drama directed by Paolo Virzì that tells the story of two women from different backgrounds who become friends on their journey to freedom.
Villa Biondi is an alternative psychiatric hospital for women, where Valeria Bruni Tedeschi plays the role of Beatrice, a pathological liar and chatterbox whose aristocratic background and manners make her the ‘queen’ of the hospital. However, by treating the rest of the patients as her servants, Beatrice is not the most popular figure among the residents until she meets her complete opposite – Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti). Thin and covered in tattoos, Donatella arrives as a complete mess, whose silence and self-isolation attract Beatrice’s attention.
It does not take long before the unexpected duo escapes the hospital rather by accident, without any plan or direction. The friendship develops further as Beatrice and Donatella jump from fortune tellers to expensive restaurants and nightclubs, revealing to each other their past lives. The contrast between the two become even more apparent when their journeys separate for a while, as if to underline that despite the differences the desire for love and freedom is what guides them.
Running from one escape to another, Beatrice’ and Donatella’s journey becomes not only a story of friendship but also of reclaiming identity, something that will change them both. Coloured with ridiculously funny scenes and deeply emotional moments, Like Crazy sets the scene for important questions such as what is freedom?, what is happiness? and what does crazy mean in the society we live in?. Maybe there is no such thing as ‘crazy’ and some of us, as they say in the film, are “just late bloomers”.
by Katerina Gospodinova
Katerina is a final year PhD student in molecular psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh. She believes that art and science can work hand in hand to raise awareness and fight the preconceptions surrounding mental illness.