Last Five Years

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More by Jason Robert Brown

It is her birthday, and he has come to visit her. She is anxious to fix any problems in their marriage but she becomes angry when Jamie tells her he has to return early to New York in order to attend a Random House party. She accuses him of egotism, claiming he values his career more than his relationship with her "See I'm Smiling". In , Jamie receives a phone call from a Random House agent, who wants to make a deal for his manuscript.

Overjoyed, he calls Cathy and agrees to move in with her. He comments on how lucky he feels to be so successful at only 23 "Moving Too Fast". Elsewhere at an audition, Cathy makes a call to her disinterested agent: it seems her career isn't going the way she planned, as she does not move on to the dance audition.

In late and early , Cathy attends multiple social functions for the promotion of Jamie's novel and for celebrating its success 63 weeks as a bestseller. She sings about how his newfound fame and success in writing have changed their lives and jokes about how focused or "catatonic" he becomes in his writing process. She expresses that she feels the best way to love Jamie is to focus on him and his growing career.

She chooses to "follow in his stride" and put herself and her dreams second to his new success "A Part of That". After a horrible day working as a bartender during the holiday season , Cathy comes home to an excited Jamie. He tells her a Christmas story he has written about an old tailor named Schmuel, who had given up on his dreams but is able to turn back time and undo his past regrets "The Schmuel Song". After the story, Jamie encourages Cathy to take more risks and continue to pursue her own dreams.

LAB 2: The Last Five Years

For her Christmas present, Jamie gives her an appointment for new headshots, a Backstage magazine, and a wristwatch, as well as the promise to support her as she pursues acting. In the summer of , Cathy is in Ohio doing summer stock and videochatting with Jamie. She describes to Jamie her disappointing life in Ohio, her dysfunctional and eccentric colleagues, and her desire to achieve success as an actress in New York, never to return to Ohio "A Summer in Ohio".

Some time later, they marry in the same spot. Jamie, now a bestselling author, struggles to resist an increasing number of advances from other women, though he expresses his desire to remain faithful to Cathy "A Miracle Would Happen". She calls Jamie to tell him the good news, while he struggles to get a moment away from work to speak with her. Some time earlier, Cathy is struggling with poor auditions and repeated rejection. She attends a book reading for Jamie's novel "Light out of Darkness", where she realizes she is no longer content to put Jamie's career before her own "Climbing Uphill".

Jamie wants Cathy to attend a party to celebrate the publishing of his book, but she refuses, stating she has been to so many of them only to be ignored by her husband. He decides he'll go alone, but questions Cathy about why she really refuses to go with him, suggesting she is jealous of his career success. Jamie promises her that he still believes in her and their relationship "If I Didn't Believe in You" , but she walks away. Cathy and Jamie are traveling to New Jersey , where he be will meeting her parents for the first time. She expresses her dissatisfaction with suburban life, as well as with her past failed relationships "I Can Do Better Than That".

Upon arriving at her parents' house, she asks Jamie to move in with her. Jamie wakes up in his apartment beside multiple women, including his editor, Alise, and the receptionist at Random House "Nobody Needs to Know". About to leave for Ohio to visit Cathy, he tries to defend his actions and blames Cathy for destroying his privacy and their relationship. Jamie promises not to lie to Alise and tells her, "I could be in love with someone like you," just as he did to Cathy. She proclaims that she has been waiting for Jamie her whole life.

Back in , Jamie writes a farewell letter to Cathy, claiming he tried all he could to save their marriage "I Could Never Rescue You". As a hopeful Cathy waits for a tomorrow with Jamie, a discouraged Jamie tells Cathy "goodbye". He leaves behind his keys and wedding ring, then exits their apartment. Later that evening, we see Cathy return to the apartment and open the front door to find Jamie's letter waiting for her. The film's song numbers follows the musical's, alternating between Cathy and Jamie with a song or two sung by both.

Principal photography began on June 17, in New York City. Betsy Wolfe , who played Cathy in the Off-Broadway revival, plays the former stripper that Cathy rooms with in Ohio. Composer Brown plays one of the accompanists during Cathy's auditions in "Climbing Uphill". Sherie Rene Scott , who originated the role of Cathy in the Off-Broadway production, also appears in one of the audition scenes with her husband Kurt Deutsch.

The Last Five Years received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Anna Kendrick's performance was met with widespread critical acclaim, with many citing it as the best performance of her career.

The site's critical consensus states, " The Last Five Years hits a few awkward notes in its transition from stage to screen, but its freshness and sincere charm — and well-matched stars — offer their own rewards. In The Observer , Jonathan Romney found the film to be "an enjoyable anomaly. You may even, just possibly, come out humming the tunes. By Of Characters. Two Person Three Person. Two Women Three Women. Two Men Three Men.

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