See a Little Culture at Home with The Last 5 Years

February 18, 2015

Update: The Last 5 Years is now available on Netflix

One of my favorite musicals hit the big screen last weekend – The Last 5 Years. A couple summers ago I saw the show at Second Stage Theater after hearing rave reviews about it from my friend Bradley, over at Amuse*Bouche.  What really sold it for me was that Bradley spilled the beans and said that the show was going to be made into a movie starring Anna Kendrick (of my beloved Pitch Perfect). So knowing it was going to be made into a movie and I try to see every show or read every book before it hits the big screen, I decided to see it and fell in love with the soundtrack, to the point I listen to it regularly at work.

This weekend, the movie was released in theaters – and to my surprise, it was also released the same day to sites like Amazon, available to rent or download. Screw waiting around in line with folks looking to see Fifty Shades of Grey – I could watch this from the comfort of my own home! My friends and I piled into my living room, and got ready for an afternoon of this fantastic musical.

Now the premise is actually pretty interesting for this show and I promise I won’t give away any spoilers. The story of The Last 5 Years is that a couple tell the ups and downs of their last 5 years together – but what’s interesting is the woman, Cathy, tells the story from the present day to the beginning, while her partner, Jamie, tells it from the beginning to present day. Just something to keep in mind if you decide to give the musical a try as one of my friends said it would have taken him a few numbers to understand what was going on.

The musical was an hour and a half long, and I thought Anna Kendrick did a great job portraying Cathy. Jeremy Jordan played Jamie (he’s from Newsies) and while I thought he had a great voice, I always felt the character was a little nerdy (for some reason reminded me of Mark from Rent), especially from what I saw in the show and heard in the soundtrack. Jeremy does not give off that nerdy vibe at all, so that was a little bit of a disconnect for me. I thought the film adaptation was very good, but another key difference from the stage production is that the two characters never appear on stage together except in one scene, and they appeared in much of the movie together.

Regardless of these differences, if you are looking for a night of theater and since it’s been freezing out, don’t want to leave the house, consider renting The Last 5 Years. If you haven’t seen the stage production, understand that if you are looking for an ensemble musical, just know the show really centers around just these two characters and don’t expect a lot of background dialogue – but the lyrics totally spell out the whole story for you! If you have seen it before, enjoy getting swept up in the music again – in fact, I’m writing this post listening to the soundtrack yet again…

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  • Reply Claire February 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Love both of these actors and really looking forward to watching this. Did you ever see Jeremy in SMASH? *swoons*

  • Reply Tim March 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    You failed to say who you went to the show with. I’m hurt!

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