The Last Five Tears (Movie Thoughts: The Last Five Years)

I didn’t like “The Last Five Years” Off-Broadway years ago, and the score I thought was particularly un-tuneful. (I was very surprised when I found out that the musical had a cult following) But I was younger, bitchier, and, admittedly, with musicals I can be a bit old-fashioned. Nowadays, Jason Robert Brown’s score appears more conventional, though if I were to be honest, the whole thing still sounds like one long tuneless song. But there’s two great things to love in the movie version of “The Last Five Years,” and those two things are Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. This movie really works because of them, as they are so appealing on screen – pretty to look at, so talented, so engaging that I was able to overcome all the problems I had with the movie. The structure can be a bit confusing (her story is told backwards, his is forward) but director Richard LaGravenese presents them in such a clean straightforward manner that you get it right away. Even the corny songs, like Jamie’s “story” songs work because Jordan is on top of his game that you believe, you just believe. Jordan is one of those performers that rises above his character even if they are badly written and one dimensional (see NBC’s SMASH) But oh my, Anna Kendrick is a star, isn’t she? If she isn’t already one, her performance here is of the megastar-making kind. She is funny, she sings like a tuna, and she broke my heart. This is a great romantic drama – realistic, poignant, heart smashing. It was finally released for Valentine’s Day, and give it as a gift to yourself.

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