The Last Five Years: Film Review

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I usually love a musical, so for me to not love The Last Five Years is quite an achievement. This adaptation of the off-Broadway production just becomes tiresome and you wish you could watch one scene – just one scene! – where they are not singing. But there isn’t: they sing the whole way through, which is something I hate – I like musicals which use song to highlight key moments or entertain, rather than ones that are entirely song because nothing stands out.

They are no key songs in The Last Five Years. Some of them seem sweet at the time, but then you forget them straight away. This is definitely Anna Kendrick’s weakest musical offering so far behind Pitch Perfect and Into the Woods. Here she plays a struggling actress Cathy, who looks back on her relationship and marriage to Jamie (Jeremy Jordan) after it has fallen apart.

Behind the scenes during the filming of "The Last 5 Years"

Their chemistry is great and there is no denying their signing abilities but I simply get sick of the singing, which is a feat for a musical lover like me, especially as this is only 94 minutes long. Some of the (sung) dialogue is actually really good and I wish some scenes – fighting scenes especially – were yelled properly rather than sung angry because it takes away the impact and seriousness.

You only get short slices of their relationship and their story is not told in a linear fashion. It worked in the beginning –one happy scene juxtaposed with an unhappy scene – but it got quite repetitive and the characters are both incredibly annoying – she resents Jamie for his successful novelist career and becomes so bitchy he ends up having affairs.  You don’t really care if they stay together or not.

I just want to make it clear I didn’t hate it. If this had a mixture of songs and dialogue, I would have enjoyed it greatly. There were still moments that had me chuckling and I thought Jordan, an actor I wasn’t aware of, was so charming onscreen. It’s just a shame the songs aren’t awesome enough to carry the whole thing.

Released Friday

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