The Last Five Years

Released 02/15/2015                              Rated: PG-13

When I saw this trailer I couldn’t wait for the movie to come out. Unfortunately it never did. It hit a limited release in the States and I’d bet money the only two states that saw it were New York and California. Now, I could understand releasing it to one theater per market, that would make sense. If my husband and I want to go see something bad enough, we will travel for it. But if it’s only showing at either end of the country, obviously, we’re SOL.

Overall, I didn’t care for the story. Crumbling love stories are not my cup of tea. However, this movie shines in other aspects. First of all, it’s a great modern musical. Just like the 2012 Les Mis, it’s all sung; there’s only about 2% spoken word, but they do it in a way that you don’t even notice. Cathy singing her audition song that we, the viewer, have already heard before the lyrics to reflect her thoughts and it’s amazing. Check it out: [“Climbing Uphill”] (sorry about the quality, it’s all I could find).

What’s especially crazy is that these are all single-sided songs from one perspective with the exception of I think only two duets, one in the middle and one at the end. The story is not linear. It’s alternating her and his points of view, and they’re each going in a different direction. Cathy works back to their beginning in reverse chronological order where as Jamie is the opposite and works his way to present in chronological order. If you’re paying attention you can piece it together; it’s easy to tell the beginning from the end. The middle just gets a little muddled since it’s similar emotionally. But that’s just me.

Many of the scenes are filmed with long takes. Most people probably don’t pick up on that, but I think it’s cool to realize the camera hasn’t cut away. Instead it moves around the actors to keep the momentum of the shot. And what a pair of powerhouses we got. Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Both of them are incredible in their own right, and here both of them shine.

Honestly, it’s the story that kills it for me, and that bums me out because I feel like everything else is perfect. So this may not be my favorite movie ever, but I love how they did it.

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