My notes on The Last Five Years:
1. Before the screening, a disclaimer was flashed onscreen stating that the movie was made up purely of songs (just in case one didn’t know that this was based on a musical). It also gave away the entire plot and basically spoiled the movie. Did we really need that?
2. Speaking of need, why did the movie have subtitles? I have never seen the stage play but I sure had fun singing along.
3. I’m sure the source material played better onstage. The movie was just several vignettes stitched together and shot without much movement. The storytelling was clever (two points of view told in reverse until they intersected) but it was a pain to sit through.
4. I have loved Anna Kendrick since Up in the Air and she was a fine actress here still. I was just not too keen on the constantly high pitch of her singing. Like she was always calling the birds to dress her up for the ball.
5. Jeremy Jordan played one of the most despicable characters in Smash. I didn’t hate him so much here but he was too bland.
6. Although there were some good lines (like that dig at Russell Crowe getting cast in a musical), I felt like the characters were just singing something banal all the time. I’m sure you do this a lot. You’re in bed and bored and you start humming and it becomes a full blown song…”Wala akong magawaaaaa! Anong gagawin kooooo!” Exactly like that.
(Originally published February 25, 2015.)