The Last Five Years, Brown's semi-autobiographical, two-person musical that documents a five-year relationship of a couple falling in and out of love, is adapted and directed by LaGravenese ("P.S. I Love You").
Kendrick stars as Cathy, a struggling actress who falls in love with rising Jewish novelist Jamie Wellerstein, played by Jordan. The musical explores their relationship from both points of view through a series of solo songs — Cathy telling the story in reverse chronological order, and Jamie starting from the beginning (the pair only comes together at their wedding, the turning point of the show).
Here's how TIFF describes the USA world premiere of the film: "In this adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, 'The Last Five Years' is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie, a young, talented up-and-coming Jewish novelist falls in love with Cathy, a Shiksa Goddess and struggling actress. The film, told almost entirely through song and a beautiful pop music score, portrays an honest, heartbreaking, often funny, exploration of love and its consequences on individual identity. Starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan."
The film stays true to its source material — which premiered in Chicago in 2001, opened Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre in March 2002 and was, most recently, revived at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre — and enhances each musical moment. Viewers are invited into Cathy and Jaime's passionate bedroom, the Ohio stock theatre that Cathy reluctantly travels to each summer, Jamie's various book signings and office at Random House publishing company and Central Park, where the couple is engaged, among others.
The Off-Broadway production won 2002 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics and was nominated for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Actress, Outstanding Orchestration and Outstanding Set Design.
The film is produced by Lucky Monkey Pictures and Sh-K-Boom Records, Lauren Versel, Kurt Deutsch, LaGravenese, Janet Brenner and Steve Norman.