Those inclined toward musical theater have a more melodic love story among their options for Valentine’s Day: “The Last Five Years.”
The musical preemed Wednesday night at ArcLight Hollywood to an audience of die-hard musical theater lovers. Much as in a stage performance, the audience clapped after every musical number wrapped onscreen.
Based on the musical of the same name by Jason Robert Brown, “The Last Five Years” documents the five-year relationship between a writer, Jamie (Jeremy Jordan), and an actress, Cathy (Anna Kendrick). Jamie sings all of his songs in chronological order, while Cathy’s songs start from the end of their relationship and work backwards, leading the two to meet in the middle when Jamie proposes for the film’s only true duet.
Though the film may be something of a downer, Jordan insists it’s still a great love story. “If you’ve ever been in any sort of relationship with highs and lows, and most come along with those, I think it really pinpoints a lot of those intimate moments and those details that most stories gloss over, especially musical stories,” Jordan said.
The film’s director, Richard LaGravenese, also defended the film as a good choice for Valentine’s Day. “Jason’s music is very emotional and honest, and it was the most insightful, unique kind of musical about relationships,” he said.
LaGravenese went on to praise the source material’s originality. He said it was vital to preserve the work’s tone in adapting it to the screen. “I listened to the score for years, over and over, and I kept imagining it as a small, independent film, where I could do it true to its original source without Hollywood-izing it in any way,” LaGravenese said. “I didn’t want to change it for film so that it would be accessible to a bigger audience. That’s why I did it on an independent level for very little money, so that I could keep it pure.”
The team celebrated the film’s release with cocktails at nearby Wood & Vine, though Jordan and Kendrick both had flights to catch.
“The Last Five Years” bows in theaters and VOD February 13.
(Pictured: Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick at “The Last Five Years” premiere.)