Romance, lost and music make a rocky and semi-successful transition from Broadway to screens in The Last Five Years. Cathy (Anna Kendrick) and Jamie (Jeremy Jordan) tell their love story through song, with Cathy starting at the end of their relationship and Jeremy at the beginning. Over the course of the film, you see the couple come together all while falling apart.
It’s a two-man show, with Kendrick stealing it and Jordan occasionally arresting proceedings. What I truly appreciated about the film was how it conveyed so much emotion through just the two actors and the soundtrack.
The musical first premiered on Broadway in 2001 and the story is based upon the real life relationship between Richard LaGravenese (also the writer/director of the film) and his ex-wife. Part of me wishes that I could have seen the stage production first before going into this movie. Although I understood the premise, there were a couple parts that were confusing.
It transitions from the beginning to the end of the relationship, with Cathy telling it from end to beginning and Jamie from start to finish. There were parts of the film where I wasn’t sure what stage of the relationship they had reached. The scene of the proposal particularly perplexed me. I wasn’t quite exactly sure whether they weren’t doing well or were still thriving. What saved the movie a mix of the right actors, score and transitions.
Kendrick is truly talented and proved that she can sing in any range. She portrayed her character’s struggle well through song and Jordan proved to be a good counterpart for her. The soundtrack is catchy and though some of the songs seem to blend together after a while, there are standouts such as “I Can Do Better Than That” and “Moving Too Fast”.
The real heroes in this film are Sabine Hoffmann (film editor) and Jason Robert Brown (music director). Every scene came together flawlessly and the music followed suit. I never felt like it was an awkward musical change and could very much tell when a song was over or continuing.
If you’re a fan of the musical already, then you’ll enjoy The Last Five Years. For the rest of us, if you like a good soundtrack and with a love story playing in the background, then go for it. If not, save it for a matinee or a rental.
The Last Five Years will be released exclusively at The Empire Leicester Square on 17 April; VOD on 1 May and DVD on 4 May 2015. Cinema tickets are now available for pre-booking here-www.L5Ytickets.co.uk
In theatres April 17th.