Photo from Entertainment Tonight.
“Last Christmas” is the latest holiday-themed romantic comedy directed by Paul Feig that stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. The movie centers around an aspiring singer Kate, played by Clarke, who has a bad relationship with her immigrant family and works in a year-round Christmas shop run by a Chinese woman nicknamed Santa.
Kate’s life is a mess until she meets a mysterious stranger named Tom, played by Golding, who shows Kate that the world is a better place than she imagined. This is a well-intentioned and mildly amusing romantic dramedy that is competently shot and edited while offering nothing truly new to the genre.
“Last Christmas” is full of good performances from Clarke, Golding and Michelle Yeouh as Kate, Tom and the shop owner Santa respectively. Yet the film’s script offers nothing funny or clever enough to differentiate itself from the rest of the market.
The film has some very emotional moments and mainly works due to its entertaining main cast but “Last Christmas” cannot escape its formulaic tone that never truly goes anywhere new until the very end. Kate starts off as slightly unlikable and slowly grows charming over the course of the film due to her growingly upbeat personality, acceptance of her family and reconciling with her past friends. However, “Last Christmas” does utilize a very good George Michael soundtrack and displays slightly realistic dysfunctional family aspects to amp up its fairly bland screenplay co-written by Emma Thompson.
By the film’s midpoint, it becomes fairly clear that the film is going for a redemption arc for its main character and it does have its charming moments while doing so. Every scene in the film’s homeless shelter feels earnest and the film’s ending twist is fairly emotional to a certain audience even though it is foreshadowed throughout most of the film.
“Last Christmas” does redeem itself with some good singing from Clarke and a funny yet heartfelt ending to put people in the holiday mood. Overall, “Last Christmas” is a formulaic yet slightly charming romantic dramedy with good lead performances that is simply neither funny or effectively dramatic enough to differentiate itself from the holiday movie landscape. For me, “Last Christmas” gets a 5.5 out of 10.