A little insulting to people actually enduring the struggles highlighted
Boring waste of a high-budget cast
‘Tis the season for mediocre rom-coms parading in seasonal tropes and being perfectly forgivable because all is jolly. Christmas is about being jolly, and Last Christmas succeeds at some sense of self-awareness… almost.
If not for pompous PR attempt at stifling the obvious of this movie, I would’ve been able to come to its defense saying that the corny twist was never a priority, to begin with. Either way, the review you’re about to read is going to assume that whoever called for the reactionary campaign to the leaks is entirely separate from the movie itself.
Directed by Paul Feig and with Emma Thompson joining Byrony Kimmings as a writer, Last Christmas revolves around Katarina (Emilia Clarke), a girl who sells ornaments at an all-year Christmas store. The store is owned by a character played by Michelle Yeoh, whose love for Christmas creates some of the only humorous interaction in the film. Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians fame is Katarina’s mysterious love interest who’s always in the same outfit and has a delusive liking for Katarina. Emma Thompson is, of course, also in the movie, and she plays the caricatured Yugoslavian mother of Katarina.
Not much of the plot can be mentioned, although the story of Last Christmas, as with most Christmas movies, has to do with the redemption of the protagonist that’s brought about by the magic of Christmas.
There are also a couple of elements that this movie uses to make the journey a little more meaningful. Last Christmas embarks on the themes of homelessness, immigration in Britain, and family. But it mostly leaves these threads dangling, forcing them into coming full circle late in the movie.
The characters are also largely unrealistic and not representative of the actual struggles that most people face. For what it’s worth, at least none of them were forgotten, and it’s still a step ahead of Christmas movies that fail at making the magic of Christmas extend toward the toils of everyday life beyond the festivity.
There are a couple of things that create the feeling that Last Christmas is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, instead indulging in some of the little, corny things. For one, the soundtrack of Last Christmas is all George Michael, and features a previously unreleased song by the artist, “This is How (We Want You to Get High).” There’s also a heartwarming closing number in the movie which will put a smile on your face.
On a Christmas movie scale, maybe this ranks a rung higher than your usual fare. If you paid for this movie, chances are that there will be moments that you enjoy. But if your wallet’s looking a little tight from gift-shopping, maybe watch the Christmas entry for the year that everyone’s talking about: Netflix’s Klaus.