Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Review: Last Christmas

Release date: November 8, 2019
Running time: 102 minutes
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson 

It's just turned to November and we already have our first holiday movie, Last Christmas.  Although it feels early, it's never too early to get into the holiday spirit!  Last Christmas follows Kate (Emilia Clarke), a perpetual screw up that is seemingly at the bottom of her luck. We meet her as she is unintentionally burning bridges with old and new friends while dealing with trouble at work and with her family.  However, a chance encounter with Tom (Henry Golding) causes her to begin to change her perspective.  

What you will come to Last Christmas for--other than holiday cheer--is the strong cast including Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and Emma Thompson.  Clarke is very enjoyable as the constant screw up Kate, with her trademark charm and some pretty funny lines.  Golding is almost too good to be true, and he continues his Crazy Rich Asian role with a character who is almost perfect while still being likable.  Thompson is fine as an overbearing mother, but her ridiculous accent makes it seem like she is playing a parody of a Yugoslavian immigrant.  The writing is enjoyable at times, but too cliched at other times with Golding managing to say the perfect one liner at the appropriate time. 

However, the story of Last Christmas, while being just different enough from other Christmas films is fairly predictable for the genre.  There are little differences in the film, and a major plot twist towards the end, but overall the story was a Christmas cookie-cutter story for a holiday film.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, I just wish that it hadn't wrapped up so conveniently and dwelled more after the major plot twist.  This movie is also a strange love letter to George Michael, with his music prominently displayed throughout.  It is a great soundtrack and his prominence in the film might seem odd until you realize that Emma Thompson (actor and writer of the film) got George Michael's blessing to use the songs before he died.  His songs are woven throughout the film, and there is enough in his catalog to help with pretty much any scene.

Last Christmas has a warm, enjoyable cast, great music, and an overall good message, but the predictable story and cliched lines do not do enough to differentiate it from the other Christmas movies.  

Rent it

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