Ever since the musical came back into vogue in Hollywood, we have been treated to some enormous spectacles, what with the cinematic adaptations of Les Miserables and Into the Woods. That’s what makes the latest musical adaptation, The Last Five Years, exceptionally unique, as it is far more concerned with its characters than it is with wowing you with incredible sights and sounds.
Directed by Richard LaGravenese and adapted from the Off-Broadway musical by Jason Robert Brown, the film is an impressive deconstruction of a loving relationship told in a non-linear fashion. Anna Kendrick plays Cathy Wiatt, an aspiring actress who falls head over heels in love with writer Jamie Wellerstein (Jeremy Jordan). Throughout the film, we watch as their love blossoms into marriage and then goes from smooth sailing to very rough waters.
As Jamie’s star rises thanks to the incredible success of his first novel, Cathy finds herself suffering endlessly as she works towards her big break, which grows increasingly elusive. Of course, their marriage suffers as a result, and it eventually gets to the point where they both wonder if they can still make it as a couple even as their creative paths are leading them in opposite directions.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Richard LaGravenese and Jeremy Jordan while they were at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, California for The Last Five Years press day. Richard talked about what made him want to adapt this particular musical to the big screen and what made it more character driven than so many others of the genre, and Jeremy explained how he kept the songs fresh and alive after so many takes.
Check out our exclusive interview in the video above and be sure to catch The Last Five Years as it’s now in theatres.