What it's about:
A struggling actress and her novelist lover each illustrate the struggle and deconstruction of their love affair.
What we thought:
I have to admit when I first heard about this movie my first thought was, "Oh no, Anna Kendrick in another musical?!"
But man was I forced to eat that thought after the opening song; a sad, soul destroying performance by Anna Kendrick singing I’m still hurting with such vulnerability and pain that caused a gigantic lump in my throat.
And that is how this tale of love found and lost starts.
Based on the musical by Jason Robert Brown, it tells the story of Cathy (Anna Kendrick) and Jamie (Jeremy Jordan) and their relationship over the last five years. It is a proper musical with the occasional dialogue. What’s interesting is that the relationship is told from two perspectives: Cathy’s starts at the end of the relationship and moves to the beginning whereas Jamie’s starts at the beginning and moves to the end. Their stories meet in the middle when he proposes.
While Cathy falls more in love Jamie falls out of love. It is bittersweet to watch the pair go from being madly in love to it all falling apart.
Cathy, a small town girl who moved to New York to pursue an acting career, meets Jamie, an up and coming writer. While Jamie’s star rises, Cathy struggles to make her dreams reality. It is ultimately this that tears them apart. Cathy finds herself living in Jamie’s shadow while Jamie on the other hand almost instantly regrets his decision after he marries her.
The storytelling seems a bit complex and all the back and forth might be a bit confusing but it actually works well. Through the telling we get to fill in the gaps from both perspectives. And it’s hard to take sides.
Anyone who has ever been through a breakup can relate, you know, dissecting every single moment and trying to pinpoint that exact moment when it broke beyond repair.
It’s such an intimate look into a love relationship that it might just have you thinking about some of those bad breakups where you thought you were wronged.
The leads are the only characters in this movie. For this movie to have worked they had to be exceptional and Anna and Jeremy don’t disappoint.
We’ve heard Anna sing before, but the way she handles these complex emotions through song is just beautiful.
Jeremy Jordan, best known for his role in Smash, rises to the occasion too and gives a solid performance. The pair are well matched.
And the songs! I am going to try to limit it to three: in I’m A Part of That Cathy questions how she fits into Jamie’s life; she follows him and is never really at his side. Jamie’s Nobody needs to know and I could never rescue you gives some deeper insight into his character.
When it comes to what ‘love’ is all about it doesn’t get more real than this movie. I feel like I should insert something profound but let’s be honest sometimes love just sucks!
If you’re into musicals this one is worth seeing, if you’re not, go give it a try anyway as it might just surprise you.
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