Marriage is a work in progess. It is not for the weak-hearted or for the lazy ones. It is best to navigate the complicated webs of a marriage life with skills learned overtime, patience and humility.”
taken from www.efilmsworld.com
The Last Five Years is a film inspired by the Broadway musical of the same name. It is a story of a couple, Jamie (played by stage actor, Jeremy Jordan) and Cathy (played by current It girl, Anna Kendrick). It tells the tale of this two young lovers from the start of their giddy passionate love story, their marriage, how their career progress (or lack of it) through the years and sadly, the demise of their marriage. I love musicals which what attracted me to this movie. Anna Kendrick lend her singing voice again (Like she did in Pitch Perfect , Into The Woods and the recent Oscars award show opening number with Neil Patrick Harris). I understand why she was chosen for the role. She has a great Broadway musical voice and she is currently one of Hollywood’s favorite leading lady. But I feel she lacks the charm and sassiness to play Cathy that it was easy to side with Jamie’s story. Jeremy Jordan is more known on stage. He was the lead act in the Broadway show Newsies and Bonnie & Clyde. I believe he was the real star in the movie. He shines and he captivated the audiences. He was charming and likeable.
The movie starts with Cathy singing a song of resentment and sadness entitled “Still Hurting”. It tells the audience that something is ending, a relationship is ending. Then in the next scene, Jamie entered professing his love and fascination for Cathy. It was flash back of how their love story started. Both of them in bed, all moony-eyes, hopeful, excited and feverish in-love. Then you see how they gradually progress and struggled in their chosen career, Jamie as a writer while Cathy as a stage actress. As Jamie got a big break and on his way to become a hotshot writer, Cathy was struggling on her path as a successful stage actress. But earlier on, even with Cathy’s discomfort with her husband’s new found fame, you can still see how much she admires him when she sang “A Part Of That”. And one of my favorite scene in the movie is when Jamie sang the song “The Schmuel Song” which he said is the storyline of his next story and later told Cathy, it is his way of telling her that he will support her in all the endeavors she undertakes and that he believes in her.
However, while Jamie continues to succeed as a writer, Cathy started to become bitter and miserable. The most hurtful line that Jamie said to Cathy “I will not fail just to make you feel better“. That cuts like a knife. Then slowly, when bitterness, contempt and hatred settled in, Jaimie started to cheat, driving each other farther apart. Until they reached to a stage where both parties gave up and ended in divorce.
It made you realize maybe thats how marriages ends. When both partners are not travelling in the same path in life. One is uphill while the other is downhill. You think of Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe, Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley and Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan. But looking in as an observer, I realized this situation is not a lost cause. It is still salvagable. Try to remember the first days of courtship, the little sweet gestures done now & then and the hopefulness of your love for each other before. This made me realize marriage is one institution that should be heavily saturated with humility, patience and perseverance. Real love is action. Real love is a choice.
The movie could be a little depressing to watch but as a musical-lover, I liked it. I understand its appeal especially if I imagine it shown on Broadway. The songs can give you a last-song-syndrome. The movie gives you a glimpse of how marriage can disintegrate in just 5 years… Scary and sad… But it does gives married couples to ponder on and hopefully pray that it will not happen to them.