Movie Review: The Last Five Years

From Broadway.com
From Broadway.com

Suffice it to say, I am now a die-hard fan of Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.

I first heard of “The Last Five Years” when it was staged in Manila last year. I found the story really interesting but never got to watch it.

I did my research and found that there is a movie adaptation starring Kendrick and Jordan. I’ve never heard of Jordan but I’ve seen Kendrick in at least three films already.

THE LAST 5 YEARS is a musical chronicling a love affair and marriage taking place over a five-year period. Jamie Wellerstein (Jordan) is a young, talented up and coming novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt (Kendrick), a struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song. All of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair, while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes. (Source: LastFiveYearsMovie.com)

What I really loved about the film were the songs. Jason Robert Brown, who wrote the musical, was able to put intense emotions in to each song that as a viewer, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the characters and feel their pain and happiness. Well, mostly pain. Kendrick’s songs were really peppered with insecurity and hardships, in stark contrast with Jordan’s songs that exude hope (the first few songs at least). The use of certain phrases in different songs (that convey opposing emotions) were also really effective. [HINT: “See I’m Smiling” and “I Can Do Better Than That”]

The songs borrow notes from each other as well which helps in tying the story together [“Still Hurting” and “I Can Never Rescue You”]

You can listen to the Official Soundtrack Sampler here:

It was heartbreaking to watch a relationship crumble as told by two people who are actually hurting while desperately trying to save it.

Kendrick and Jordan’s performances as a couple who started out as having big dreams on their own, with one materializing while the other one just falling apart were really tear-inducing. It was really painful to see how both of them, in their own ways, were trying to salvage their relationship. But the insecurity and distance were just too much for them to overcome.

What saddens me is that the original motion picture soundtrack is not on Spotify (which is insane, by the way)! I just comforted myself by listening to the original off-broadway album available on the streaming service:


I’ve read reviews that it was not as good as the theater production, but I’ve never watched it on theater so I do not need to compare. As a film, it stands on its own and it was really effective in showing how a relationship fails, in the eyes and words of the people hurting.

“The Last Five Years” is currently showing in cinemas nationwide

Feature photo from LastFiveYearsMovie.com

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack available on iTunes

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