‘Tis the season (well, close enough) to be jolly.
Usually I avoid looking at reviews before writing my own, so as not to be swayed in a particular direction.
Initially I had no intention of watching a festive movie in November – and wasn’t going to review it – so out of curiosity I wondered what others thought of Last Christmas.
Most were unimpressed, as given the talent involved on and off-screen, many seemed to be hoping for the next Love Actually – which this most definitely is not.
After being talked into watching the movie with a friend, I reluctantly went into my screening with low expectations due to the comments I’d read prior. Perhaps that played a part in my overall opinion being that this is actually pretty good – certainly better than the ‘monstrosity’ many have painted it out to be.
Directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) and written by Emma Thompson, Greg Wise and Bryony Kimmings, Last Christmas sees Kate (Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke) a twenty-something party girl whose reckless behaviour is wearing thin with those around her. She bounces from couch to couch after being kicked out of homes for one reason or another.
During the evening, she turns to booze and one-night stands as an escape from reality. During the day she drags herself to the year-round Christmas decoration store she reluctantly works at – under the leadership of her scowling boss ‘Santa’ (Crazy Rich Asians’ Michelle Yeoh).
It just so happens that last Christmas, Kate was involved in a serious incident that she doesn’t like to talk about. If only there was a male lead she could confide in… someone to make her see that she should probably change her ways? Here Tom (Yeoh’s Asians’ co-star Henry Golding) comes to save the day.
The overall story may be clichéd but it’s the smaller things that make this movie what it is. Emma Thompson plays Kate’s mother and is as charming as ever, and Feig’s trademark comedy style provides plenty of genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Also, with this being a Christmas movie, it is beautiful to look at.
You’ve likely seen from the marketing that Last Christmas features the music of George Michael and Wham! – but sadly not as heavily as you may think. Those hoping that this has elements that ‘doubles up’ as a musical like Bohemian Rhapsody or Rocket Man will be disappointed. The music is very subtle and a few songs you’d expect to hear were nowhere to be found. Whether this was a rights issue, I don’t know.
It took me a while to get into a festive movie in November but once I was able to get past that I enjoyed what is a flawed, but heart-warming and funny flick.
But it wasn’t anything special for me to give it my heart.
ESP Rating: 3/5
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Emma Thompson, Rebecca Root, Peter Serafinowicz & Lydia Leonard
Running Time: 1 Hr 43 Mins
Director: Paul Feig
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