‘The Last Five Years’ Is Somehow Going to Be Made Into a Movie
Nothing causes more simultaneous glee and horror than the news of a new movie musical, especially when the source material is a musical that I love. That’s why I’m a little conflicted about the announcement that Richard LaGravenese, director of the recent Beautiful Creatures, is planning a big-screen adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s beloved The Last Five Years.
The Last Five Years is a popular choice for regional theaters and universities, as the show is a two-personal musical chronicling the relationship between Jamie, a writer, and his actress wife, Cathy. The musical’s scenes alternate between the pair’s solo scenes, with Cathy’s being told in reverse as their marriage breaks up and Jamie’s chronological version from their first meeting. The couple share one song—when their stories meet in the middle—and the musical is an intimate portrayal of love and loss as well as an exercise in storytelling. It works brilliantly on stage, but I can’t imagine how well a two-person musical will fare for movie audiences.
Of course, the show features some fantastic songs with a slight pop, singer-songwriter sensibility rather than the orchestral fare (which is why it’s never actually been produced on Broadway). Meanwhile, Anna Kendrick is signed on to star as Cathy, which is promising; she’s shown her singing talents previously in last year’s Pitch Perfect and in Camp.
LaGravenese reveals some details of the film to Broadway.com:
“Anna Kendrick is attached to play [Cathy], and I’m looking for [Jamie] now,” LaGravenese said of the film, which tells the story of a young couple who falls in (and out of) love. “It’s like a $2 million budget. It’s really tiny and small. It will be shot on digital with a 22-day schedule. It’s a really small thing, so we’ll see.” For LaGravenese, The Last Five Years material won’t need much tweaking for the big screen. “It’s all sung, so it’s already written,” he noted.
For New Yorkers who can’t wait for The Last Five Years: The Movie, a revival of the show will begin March 7 at Second Stage Theatre. A new production certainly won’t hurt the chances of a film version’s appeal. Meanwhile, here’s a bootleg clip of Sherie Rene Scott singing "I Could Do Better Than That" from the original off-Broadway production:
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