With Valentine’s Day comes many things: the excessive amounts of reds and pinks flooding the aisles of Target, flowers skyrocketing in price and demand, and the impossible excursion that takes place trying to find movie tickets available for that day. This year’s big V-Day release was arguably “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which happened to “eclipse” the release of Anna Kendrick’s latest film, “The Last Five Years” (It was a pun. Anna Kendrick was in “Twilight.” Get it? Moving on…)
“The Last Five Years” is an off-Broadway musical that made it to the big screen with Tony Award Nominees Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan (from “Smash” on NBC). This show tells the story of Cathy (Kendrick) and Jamie’s (Jordan) relationship through the last five years from their first date to the wedding and ultimate divorce. Whoa! Way to spoil the ending! I assure you, I didn’t.
This movie opens on Cathy reading a letter from Jamie saying he’s left her. The story then digresses through the relationship to when they first met through Cathy’s perspective. At the same time, it progresses from the beginning to the end of their relationship in Jamie’s perspective. Confused? It sounds more confusing than it actually is, I assure you.
Each song in the musical alternates between moments within the last five years that eventually collide in the middle of the movie, when one song is sung from both perspectives, “The Next Ten Minutes.” In short, the film progresses from present day Cathy and Jamie five years ago to Cathy five years ago and Jamie today.
Along the way, Jamie receives mega recognition from Random House, which is publishing his novel, and is on the fast track to a successful career. Meanwhile, Cathy is a struggling actress in New York who can’t seem to make her break anywhere outside of Ohio theater matinees. Whether it’s jealousy or the fear of settling, Cathy seems to be stuck in Jamie’s shadow and is torn between allowing her love the chance at his dreams or fighting for her own.
— Michael Cotter, Assistant Poetry Editor