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The Last Five Years (2014)

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A struggling actress and her novelist lover each illustrate the struggle and deconstruction of their love affair.

Writers:

Jason Robert Brown (based on the musical play by), Richard LaGravenese (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Kendrick ... Cathy Hiatt
Jeremy Jordan ... Jamie Wellerstein
Tamara Mintz Tamara Mintz ... Danica Schwartz
Cassandra Inman Cassandra Inman ... Erica Weiss
Kate Meltzer Kate Meltzer ... Handelman Twin #1
Emma Meltzer Emma Meltzer ... Handelman Twin #2
Bettina Bresnan ... Heather Greenblatt
Charly Bivona ... Annie Mincus
Alex Stebbins Alex Stebbins ... Karen Pincus
Lily LaGravenese Lily LaGravenese ... Lisa Katz
Betina Joly Betina Joly ... Stacy Rosen (as Bettina Joly)
Upa Inspace Upa Inspace ... Ellen Kaplan
Lisa Herring Lisa Herring ... Julie Silber
Nina Ordman Nina Ordman ... Janie Stein
Robert Immerman Robert Immerman ... Shapiro (as Bob Immerman)
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Storyline

The Last 5 Years by Tony award winning composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie Wellerstein is a young, talented up and coming Jewish novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt, a Shiksa Goddess struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through songs using an intercutting time line device; all of Cathy's songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair while Jamie's songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are two sides to every love story


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual material, brief strong language and a drug image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 2015 (Philippines) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Five Years See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,677, 20 February 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$137,945, 1 March 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original version of "I Can Do Better Than That", Cathy says the guy she met was someone "who you might say looked like Tom Cruise." Since the 2013 off-Broadway revival, it was changed to "with some very well-placed tattoos", since Jason Robert Brown figured Tom Cruise was not exactly someone who fit the description of handsomeness anymore. See more »

Goofs

When Jamie is singing to a grumpy Cathy after a long day at the bar, the pink dress on the mannequin goes from correctly seem to falling off the mannequin to half on the mannequin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cathy Hiatt: [singing] Jamie is over and Jamie is gone. / Jamie's decided it's time to move on. / Jamie has new dreams he's building upon. / And I'm still hurting.
See more »

Connections

References Leave It to Beaver (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

The Schmuel Song
Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Performed by Jeremy Jordan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I wish the director was smarter!
13 August 2015 | by ree-bee103See all my reviews

Having seen an amazing production of this in Auckland (Last Tapes Theatre Company), this much more expensive, full blown movie fell flat for me. I think Jason Robert Brown's musical was ultimately misunderstood here.

The structure in the original is that they sing solo, him starting at the start, her at the end, they meet in the middle when they get married and share their only duet, and then spin off into solo again. Although "together", each is alone inside his/her own emotions, and although trying to connect, they constantly miss each other. Only when they are getting married and singing a duet are they really in sync. The movie muddled this by trying to have both him and her taking part in every song throughout. An acting challenge that failed :/ The best moments were when they were singing to no one in particular, for her it was "Jamie is over and Jamie is done" and for him "Hold on, the panic recedes". This was when the actors were finally allowed to perform the songs the way they were supposed to be performed.

Basically, I thing the focus of each song is supposed to be on the subjective experience. But the movie missed this point, and tried to make every song mimic a real life conversation. This failed, although you could see how hard both actors were trying. The chemistry was very forced. Singing a conversation is awkward enough, but the lyrics are so deep and vulnerable, no one would say those things aloud. It was especially awkward when they were sung at his friends in a bar or at reporters at a party. Those poor extras on the receiving end of the songs didn't know what to do with themselves. The songs are meant to be confidante confessions to the audience, coming from deep within the characters, obviously not casual conversation. In general, the misunderstanding of the unique genre and structure of the original transformed The Last Five Years into a cringey, low-level musical.

The original is actually more a song cycle, it has virtually no spoken dialogue, like an opera. And it creates the same height of emotion as opera does. Performed, even if the director lacks creativity to make it come alive believably, it should at least not distract us from the amazing poetry in the lyrics. But there was a lot of (really crappy) dialogue inserted, a lot of unnecessary shots of miscellaneous stuff that was really distracting during the singing.

Instead of an incredibly powerful set of insights into how relationships dissolve, this was just another Hollywoody movie about guy meets girl. And what's sad is now the majority will think that that's what The Last Five Years is. But it's actually so much more than that!

Having said that, no matter how badly adapted, I don't think The Last Five Years could ever suck, the score and text is just too amazing and this will shine through. And despite awkwardness, there were some really good moments from both him and her. I would recommend listening to the songs rather than watching this movie though, or better still, try and see it live.


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