After Jimin challenged his fans to guess what movie the music video for his solo album’s title track, “Like Crazy,” was inspired by, fans spiraled into theories. The most popular one was that the music video for the lead single, released as a part of his first solo album, Face, on March 24, would be The Notebook, since the singer previously claimed that it was his favorite. But after Jennifer Lawrence’s whispered sample of the line “I think we could last forever” kicked off the track, the quote and music video aesthetics finally answered the question of what movie “Like Crazy” is inspired by: a 2011 romance film of the same name.
Paying homage to the movie’s portrayal of falling in love, defying hurt and, ultimately, losing control, the music video follows a synth-pop instrumental with references to the film, the duality between dark and light, and a lot of angsty lyrics. “I wanted to convey my honest feelings that I experienced during the pandemic through this album, so hope you all enjoy listening [to it],” shared Jimin in a handwritten letter to his fans. “The main track ‘Like Crazy’ is inspired by one of my favorite films. Guess what that would be!”
Playing on the meaning of different types of loneliness — shown in scenes where the artist is depicted alone or partying, surrounded and left unsatisfied by people — Jimin sings out how a “cliché story like a drama” can slowly fade away.
Directed by Drake Doremus, the 2011 drama Like Crazy revolves around Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin), two students who fall in love after studying together in Los Angeles. After Anna overstays her student visa in the United States, though, the British student is banned from entering the country again, and so the young couple’s relationship is put to the test by the obstacles of long-distance relationships. Lawrence also stars in the film as Samantha, another love interest of Jacob’s. Available on Prime Video and Apple TV, the film also discusses the sacrifices made in the name of love.
“[When I first watched the movie], I thought it would be very romantic and sweet, but it turned out that it’s actually a very realistic and stark depiction of a breakup,” recalls Jimin in an interview with Rolling Stone. “So when we were talking about the main track, this movie suddenly came to my mind, and I thought it would fit well with the kind of song [we wanted to make]. So I watched the film again, and I included different points of inspiration.”
“I’m afraid everything will disappear,” confesses Jacob throughout the track, in another phrase sampled from the movie. The progression of “Like Crazy” pursues just that: “I’d rather be / Lost in the lights / I’m outta my mind / Please hold onto the end of this night,” Jimin sings as the camera follows the singer’s blurred memories and club lights around him. The music video is even wrapped up with Jacob’s hushed question of, “What’s the point?”
This theme of confrontation and attempt of understanding one’s true feelings is actually one of the key elements of the album, and not only because the music video is visually based on the difference between light and dark. Jimin’s discography — even on his solo tracks from BTS albums, like “Lie” and “Filter” — constantly challenges his image in the public eye with who he really is, besides discussing more profound feelings of self-doubt and purpose.
On Face, his performativity and public appearance are stripped away throughout the five tracks to give place to a rawer side of the singer. “In this album, I look back at myself,” Jimin told Rolling Stone. “I heard that the word ‘face’ has many different meanings. Of course, it has the meaning of the noun, face, but it also means, ‘to face, to [confront],’ as a verb. So in order to stand at this new starting point and begin a new journey, I thought it would be necessary to look back at myself and face myself entirely.”
And, with “Like Crazy,” Jimin articulates that theme in different ways. While the lyrics quote the movie’s struggles directly and the music video is similarly angsty, the choreography and performance will express “somewhat complex, somewhat lonely, somewhat happy emotions,” he spoiled to Rolling Stone. “I tried to express these ambiguous and subtle emotions in a slightly sexy way.” I think it’s safe to say he definitely achieved that goal.