Movie musicals are making a comeback. I’m happy to report that THE LAST FIVE YEARS jumping on that bandwagon was a fantastic idea. The two person show created by Jason Robert Brown is widely known through the musical theater community. It opened Off-Broadway in 2001 starring Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz. It’s run was short but the legacy it left behind has been impactful on many people’s lives. Sh-K-Boom released a cast album which generated a whole new life for the musical. There have been many productions of the show around the globe as well as another Off-Broadway run at Roundabout Theatre Company. Fast forward to present day and we find Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick taking on these roles on the big screen.
- Casting. Not only can Jeremy Jordan sing the crap out of the songs; he is charming, witty and a perfect Jamie. There were many times I caught myself smiling, chuckling and swooning over his mannerisms. Anna Kendrick is a phenomenal actress. She made the role her own. I’ve seen the show multiple times on stage and for me, no one compares to Sherie. However, Anna’s portrayal of Cathy was lovely.
- Cameos. It was fun to see past actresses who played Cathy, Producer Kurt Deutsch, Jeremy Jordan’s wife (Ashley Spencer) and composer Jason Robert Brown. These are all people who had a profound impact on the show and it was nice to see them get recognition in the film.
- Follow the person who is singing. In the stage version, it’s easier to decipher who is explaining about their relationship. The choice to keep them together (almost always) in the movie can be confusing at times for those who have never seen the show.
- Favorite moments. “The Schmuel Song” and “If I Didn’t Believe In You” brought out the best in Jeremy’s acting ability. He was captivating. The opening and closing songs were top notch. Very powerful and agreat start and finish to the show.