Crazy About Her (Loco Por Ella in Spanish) is a 2021 Spanish film directed by Dani de la Orden. It is written by Natalia Durán and Eric Navarro. The film stars Álvaro Cervantes and Susana Abaitua in the lead. The film hit the streaming platform Netflix on February 26, 2021. It follows Adri, a cynical writer who falls head over heels for Carla after one wild night together. His infatuation makes him admit himself to a psychiatric institution, where Carla resides.
Crazy About Her is a film riddled with generic rom-com tropes but tries to venture into more serious issues. The film explores issues like mental health while maintaining a light and feel-good tone as well. The film has been receiving generally mixed reviews. While it is being praised for its new take on rom-com, the typical clichés present throughout are the negatives. And while it does come packing with the trite and tired tropes of a generic rom-com, it’s surprisingly different. It’s unique in how it tackles the more serious subjects with the comedy and does it pretty well.
The movie’s central characters Adri and Carla, are two very different persons. But when sparks fly and a flirtatious exchange turns to a crazy night, the dynamic witnesses a dramatic shift. What starts as a meet-cute, flirtatious fling evolves into a story about obsession, love, and mental health. Adri falls for Carla, and his mission to get to her begins. The story introduces various twists and turns along the way. It swerves wisely through the thin lines of heavy issues like mental health and the stigma that surrounds it. The story culminates in a bittersweet end that maturely treats those issues.
An Energetic Start
Crazy About Her starts with a confident magazine writer, Adri. He is out of town in a bar where he boasts about wooing women. During his rodomontade, he bumps into Carla. She is a wacky and bubbly girl who encourages Adri to buy her a drink. The two drink and flirt. Adri is already smitten by Carl’s spontaneity and manic energy. The flirtatious back-and-forth leads to the two gate-crashing a wedding reception. Their shenanigans lead them to an empty bridal suite. They have an eventful one-night stand, and when the sun rises, Adri wakes up to find Carla missing. The only clue to her whereabouts is the leather jacket she left behind.
Although, Carla insisted, and they both agreed on a one-night stand, after which they part ways. For Adri, it shouldn’t be so difficult since he doesn’t fancy lingering over a romantic fling, but this time it’s different. You see, he has developed real feelings for this girl. The utter spontaneity of Carla and just the sheer blast of spending the night with her has him believe that this is that one girl. He tries to suppress these feelings for a few days while also longing for them. And then, eventually, he finds a lead to get back to Carla. Kept inside a pocket of the jacket she left behind is a prescription with a name and an address. However, the clue is an address to a mental health facility. Adri heads off to the addresses anyway, finds Carla, waves at her, but she just gives a smile in return.
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Adri’s Infatuation With Carla
Adri’s infatuation levels are already through the roof. He concocts a plan to reach Carla. With the help of his friends, he gets in contact with a doctor. He tells the doctor and his friends that he wants to get inside the mental health facility. To do that, he asks the doctor to forge a medical report saying he has treated Adri as his patient. He gets it signed, and off he goes to the psychiatric facility, high on his obsession for Carla. Adri eventually gets inside the facility, but what he finds isn’t what and how he expected it to be like. Carla doesn’t quite seem to be enthused about seeing him there. Carla asks him to leave, saying that he doesn’t know anything about her. A discouraged and down Adri tries to leave the institution but discovers that he can’t.
It seems that getting out of the facility won’t be as easy as getting inside was. The director of the psychiatric institution tells Adri that he can’t be discharged unless he’s recovered from his mental health issues. In the institution, he comes across an eclectic bunch of patients. After this, the film focused on how Adri interacts with these inmates while trying to win over Carla. Eventually, Carla does fall for him, but that doesn’t last long. One day, Carla finds out that Adri has told the doctors about her not taking the meds. She is upset and angry at Adri, which subsequently leads to a breakup between them. Meanwhile, the inmates who have become Adri’s friends over this time find an article written by Adri. The article is an insensitive and derogatory piece about people living with mental illness. They also get upset and refuse to talk with him.
Making Up And Parting Ways
After a while, Adri gets to leave the institution. When he gets out, he writes an article in which he pours his heart out about Carla. He also writes about how he was wrong about mental health and about Carla. He goes on to write about how he’s always going to be madly in love with her. Carla and others read the article, and she breaks out of the institution with her friends. Carla reaches his office and tells him not to give up on her just yet. The two reunite and have a discussion where Carla talks about her bipolar disorder. She explains how it’ll not be easy sailing for them, and he will have to accept all of her. Adri agrees to accept her for who she is and not wanting to change her.
The two have another wild night together, after which Adri drops Carla back at the facility. She gives him her number, and he promises to call her when she gets out of the facility. She goes inside, and the two-part their ways as the film cut to black. This ending is different and great because it deviates from the generic, shallow, and cringe-worthy notion of happy endings. The film treads on thin ice by being a cliché rom-com and handling mental health issues. But this one handles them with a maturity that is not common in other flicks of this genre. The way a lot of films like this tackle mental health is juvenile. The lack of a usual and unrealistic happy ending is one of the things it does right. It seriously contends with mental health without having it be a trophy antic.
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What Crazy About Her Does Differently Than Other Rom-com Flicks
The film’s lead, Adri and Carla, are portrayed greatly by Álvaro Cervantes and Susana Abaitua. Álvaro brings a swagger to his role as the magazine writer who gets infatuated with Carla. Susana is also great in her portrayal of a bipolar patient who is both cheerfully spontaneous and also emotional. The supporting cast also does a brilliant job, with Luis Zahera’s Saul being a notable performance. Saul is a patient in the psychiatric institution who is, at times, hilarious. There’s also a subplot of him and Marta that’s very engaging. These side stories and characters also make the movie distinct in its genre. The viewers will find themselves engaged and invested in these characters and sub-plots more often than not.
Crazy About Her plays on all possible tropes and clichés of a typical rom-com. And this might make some people stray away from it. An inane rom-com and heavy topics like bipolar disorders, depression, and other mental illnesses and disorders don’t quite mix. Although this film has the usual cheese and goofiness, it never romanticizes these issues. There is a lot to this romantic-comedy that furthers a serious discussion on mental disorders. When it wants to be funny, the film is hilarious. Similarly, when it delves into more serious issues, it handles them masterfully, without compromising on the overall tone. A funny film with twists and turns, refreshing takes, and an approach to mental health, it is a well-balanced dramedy.
We give this movie 4/5 stars rating.
Crazy About Her is currently streaming on Netflix.