The Last 5 Years is a musical that never quite made it to Broadway but is finally getting the star treatment in the form of a new feature film starring Jeremy Jordan from the short-lived musical drama show Smash and everyone’s favourite Barden Bella, Anna Kendrick. The film adaptation tells the story of the highs and the lows of Jamie (Jordan) and Cathy’s (Kendrick) five year relationship and, as usual, there are two sides to every story.
The musical employs an unconventional method of storytelling where the characters’ story arcs are told in opposition – that is, while Jamie’s story starts at the beginning, as any good story should, on the day they met, Cathy’s story takes a more unusual approach and works backwards from the end of their relationship towards the point when Jamie’s story begins. Judging by the trailer, however, the film is eschewing the musical’s quirk of only having their characters interact once throughout the entire production.
Another fact the trailer makes clear is the many, many reasons why Anna Kendrick has become Hollywood’s musical lead of the moment. With a Pitch Perfect sequel due for release next summer and a starring role as Cinderella in the upcoming Disney adaptation of Into the Woods, The Last 5 Years is just one in a string of musicals for the talented actress but not one that should be overlooked by any means. Early reviews have been praising the actress’ incredible performance in this film and I’m willing to agree with them off the basis of these two minutes and twelve seconds alone.
All in all, the trailer promises a film that is everything a good musical should be, from over-the-top song and dance numbers to cheesy meet-cutes and a Sound of Music reference thrown in for good measure, yet it doesn’t try to create the illusion that this tale will be a happy-go-lucky one. There’s fighting, there’s hurting and there’s pain, as well as shots of New York in the summer that incite my wanderlust and a soundtrack that looks set to be on repeat in my house the day it’s released.
The film is due for release in the UK in 2015 so, until then ladies and gentlemen, sing your heart out.