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Date Night Dilemma: Fifty Shades Or The Last Five Years?


the last five years

It’s too cold to do just about anything else, so why not go see a movie this weekend? If you find yourself caught between the two current options that are both romantic and completely unromantic at the same time, we’ve compiled a handy little comparison guide to pit Fifty Shades Of Gray and The Last Five Years against one another. Which flick has your heart?

The Buzz:

Fifty Shades wins this by a landslide. The book is absolutely everywhere and it has miraculously managed to maintain its relevance for years. The movie is sure to become just as much of a cultural hot button. If you want to keep up with a larger crowd, go with Fifty Shades over the more obscure The Last Five Years.


The Last Five Years is a musical with very little dialogue, so it seems like a no-brainer that it will take this category. If the music weren’t any good I would hold that it against it, but the songs in this show are so well-written and will be stuck in your head for days. They’re performed very well, too. Then again, Fifty Shades has “Love Me Like You Do,” which is the best non-Taylor Swift song I’ve heard in months. Close call but I’ll give this to The Last Five Years. 

Date Night Potential:

Fifty Shades has it. The Last Five Years is actually pretty depressing and may just leave you wanting to avoid love at all costs. Fifty Shades, on the other hand, will get your pulse racing. It might be super embarrassing to see this on a date with someone you don’t know very well, though.

WTF Factor:

It is admittedly high for both of these flicks. Fifty Shades will probably have you cringing quite a bit. The Last Five Years can just be sort of hard to follow – the woman in the musical, Cathy, tells the story in reverse chronological order, while Jamie, the guy, tells it moving forward. Sounds confusing? It is.

Critical reviews:

The Last Five Years. Fifty Shades is being ripped to shreds a bit. The Last Five Years is, in the eyes of the critics, not a perfect film by any means, but they are praising certain aspects. Anna Kendrick is getting particularly good reviews, which brings me to…

Leading lady:

Thanks to Anna Kendrick’s natural charisma, effortless acting and impressive vocals, I’m giving this one to The Last Five Years. She has this special ability to show a lot of emotion on her face with very little action. You never feel like she’s doing too much and her voice soars on some of the songs.

Leading man:

Jeremy Jordan. Jeremy freakin’ Jordan. Go see The Last Five Years just for him – he’s the perfect answer to your need for a new celebrity crush. He is an incredibly skilled vocalist and when he’s onscreen, it’s just impossible not to smile. So stinkin’ charming.


It depends on what you’re going for. If you want a super steamy story that is pretty straightforward, choose Fifty Shades. On the other hand, if you want a slightly artsy film that gets you thinking, The Last Five Years is it.


Do you like musicals? If so, see The Last Five Years, either in theaters or OnDemandIMHO, there’s more good there than there is in Fifty Shades.


[Lead image via]

I'm a Chicago-based writer and graduate of the Medill School of Journalism who has written for sites like,,,,, Racked, Thrillist and The Huffington Post.