Stars and the Moon: Top Ten Songs By Jason Robert Brown

By Ben Rimalower
10 May 2014

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8. "See I'm Smiling" from The Last Five Years

"See I'm Smiling" from 2002's Off-Broadway two-hander The Last Five Years is an excellent example of what is best about a lot of Jason Robert Brown's work. The song — music and lyrics both — is funny, quirky, conversational and relatable, but there is also depth and a longing ache not far beneath the surface. The music is first to underscore this, followed by the lyrics as the story progresses. I was lucky enough to see an early screening of Richard LaGravanese's forthcoming film version of "The Last Five Years" starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, and I'm delighted to say this number works even better opened up on realistic location. (Interesting sidenote: LaGravanese has adapted Brown's The Last Five Years for film while Brown has adapted for Broadway the novel "The Bridges Of Madison County" — for which LaGravanese wrote the screenplay.)