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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Last 5 Years (2015)

A struggling actress (Anna Kendrick) and a struggling writer (Jeremy Jordan) fall in love. He has an early success with a best selling novel while she continues to struggle as an actress and this affects their relationship especially after they're married. What should have been a perfect love story begins to unravel. Based on the off Broadway musical  by Jason Robert Brown (book, music and lyrics), the film doesn't go out of its way to disguise its theatrical origins. It's still a two character musical and the director Richard LaGravenese (an Oscar nominee for his FISHER KING screenplay) is content to let the camera stay in place as the characters sing though he has added some flourishes that keep it from becoming stagnant. It's insightful in its look at a  relationship that should have worked floundering. It's a lovely film, touching and ultimately heartbreaking. After this and INTO THE WOODS, I'm all for Kendrick doing nothing but musicals. Jordan lacks her screen presence but they make for a likable couple so that you're rooting for them. Brown tilts the scales a bit in Kendrick's favor by giving her all the best songs.

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