"Love Is Nothing but a Song"
What You Need To Know:
THE LAST FIVE YEARS is poorly produced. The cinematography is terrible, the constant singing gets tedious, and the character lack depth. THE LAST FIVE YEARS has a very strong Romantic worldview, with feminist elements. Both protagonists are selfish, with the man pursuing other women while the woman refuses to be “domesticated” so she can be “empowered” by becoming a successful woman in showbiz. The movie suggests people should end their marriages if they no longer make them happy and seek the next gratifying thing. All in all, THE LAST FIVE YEARS is an unpleasant musical with an unacceptable worldview.
(RoRoRo, FeFe, L, SS, N, A, D, M) Very strong Romantic worldview with strong feminist elements, with the female protagonist refusing to be “domesticated,” so she is “empowered” to be a successful woman in showbiz; nine obscenities and profanities; no violence; strong sexual content includes several scenes depicting fornication and adultery; upper male nudity and partial nudity; alcohol use; smoking but no drugs; and lying and cheating.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS is a musical reporting the love affair and marriage of Jamie Wallerstein, a talented Jewish novelist, and Cathy Hiatt, a struggling Gentile actress, which takes place over the course of five years. The narrative is told virtually completely through song. All of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of the love affair, while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS is poorly created. The low aesthetic value of the movie mainly stems from the terrible cinematography. It’s clear that not a lot of money was invested in the production of this movie, as if an inexperienced cinematographer filmed the movie with a cheap personal camera.
The low quality also stems from the fact that the narrative is mostly told through song, with no great depth to any of the characters. Yes, this is a musical, and it should be told mostly told through song, but it would have helped the narrative a little if fewer scenes contained music. Over the course of the story, the singing becomes a nuisance because it seemed like song was forced on everything the characters were trying to communicate. Instead, the characters should have just sung when it was needed and natural.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS also fails to dive deeper into its characters. The viewing audience could only connect with the characters on a superficial level. The director, and everyone involved in the making of this movie, should have provided the possibility of a more profound understanding of the characters. Despite these problems, the actors do a decent job at portraying the characters.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS is undeniably promoting Romanticism as its dominant worldview. This is reflected in both protagonists. Regarding the male protagonist, Jamie, allows himself to be controlled and mastered by his self-interest and sexual passions. He willingly chooses his successful writing career and engages in extramarital activity at the costly expense of his marriage to Cathy. His marriage becomes an inconvenient burden on his life. He is constantly looking for things that will make him happy and benefit him, whether it is his romantic and sexual relationship with Cathy, his marriage to Cathy, his business affiliations, or his sexual encounters with other women. For her part, Cathy reflects a Romantic, feminist worldview. She refuses to be “domesticated” and wants to be “empowered” by becoming a successful woman in showbiz.
Although this movie strongly promotes Romanticism, THE LAST FIVE YEARS accurately represents the meaningless lives that individuals live apart from Jesus Christ. Those who haven’t placed their faith in Christ selfishly seek to fulfill their own needs and desires. This movie also precisely embodies the modern secular perception of marriage, which says that marriage is disposable. Marriage is no longer worth the effort, no longer holds a high place in society, and is regarded as not intrinsically valuable. The movie suggests spouses should end their marriage if it no longer makes them happy and should seek the next gratifying thing.
The concept of Romanticism is antithetical to what the Scriptures teach. The prophet Jeremiah states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” We shouldn’t follow our hearts, because the human heart is corrupt and depraved, and is easily swayed. In the Gospels, Jesus affirms this idea in his teaching, when he says in Mark 7:20-23, “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” Following your heart inevitably results in a sinful and worthless life, like the characters in this movie.
All in all, THE LAST FIVE YEARS is an unpleasant musical with an unacceptable worldview.