Joel's 100 Films in 2015: The Last Five Years

33. The Last Five Years

Watched 9/12/15

What a unique experience for me as a moviegoer! This is a movie based on a stage musical. One I've never seen performed. But the cast recording for this is something I've enjoyed since it was first recorded. The unique structure of the musical (it's a two person show, where the two people start at opposite ends of a relationship, meet once in the middle and otherwise don't share the stage) and the music itself both spoke to me.

These are songs I let occasionally come up in iTunes on shuffle, not just something I took in once or twice as a novelty. So, to say that I had expectations for the film would be an understatement.

Almost entirely it succeeds at translation the story (and the conceit) to film. While I was predisposed not to like Jeremy Jordan (due to my affinity for the role's originator Norbert Leo Butz) and think Anna Kendrick was outshone vocally by Sherrie Rene Scott in the original, both new actors did wonderful jobs making the roles their own. Kendrick in particular took some different choices that ended up being better, in my opinion.

The problem of course is that this isn't an original work. It's not startlingly unique (although it may be to those less familiar with the original play) that it makes itself unforgettable. And while I may now end up watching some of this film instead of listening to the full album again, I can't give it a full 5 stars.

4 stars