“I was really sick, and I nearly died. I don’t tell people, because they get weird. But I don’t think you’ll get weird.”
Last Christmas, set to the jams of George Michael, follows Kate, a young woman who works at a year-round Christmas store, and has lost her sense of purpose after getting sick and needing a heart transplant the previous Christmas. But when she happens to run into a fellow named Tom, he shows Kate how to cope with the result of her illness and the ability to be optimistic in such a cynical world. Last Christmas was never a film that I hungered to see. But if I had to sit through a cheesy, romantic comedy, I’m glad it was this one.
This film may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I can understand why it may resonate with many. Last Christmas, though it markets itself as a pure romantic comedy through and through, has a dramatic side that will impact the viewer. The romantic story at the center of the film is more than meets the eye. It’s not the whole “meet cute” romance that we’re all used to seeing. Dare I say, is this a sophisticated rom-com that implements both sweet romance and the harsh reality of being a human, all in one go? I may not go that far in complimenting Last Christmas, but it’s hard to say that this film is a disappointment.
Emilia Clarke, most known for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game of Thrones, takes on a completely new type of character with this film. Sure, she’s had her similar projects like Me Before You, but I haven’t felt that she’s been given the opportunity to show off the acting skills that she so clearly has. Clarke does a wonderful, and realistic job, of playing someone who has been chewed up and spit out by the world we live in. You feel for Clarke’s character, Kate, who has many layers under that rough exterior. But it’s the hand and hand moments with Tom, played by Henry Golding, that really bring out the romance. Golding does a nice job at exhibiting his character sympathetic nature. Though the character is not the center of the film, Golding will make you go “aww” with his time onscreen.
But even in all its glory, Last Christmas is not without its missteps. For most viewers the cheesiness of this film may be too much to take, which is then a unlikable quality in most romantic films. However, that aside, the ending is a bit rushed and full of holes that are never given the thorough explanation it needs. Not to mention, that film’s overall story loses its flow every now and again, not being able to truly complete the picture that the film so wishfully wants to display.
Last Christmas is no When Harry Met Sally, and may or may not stand the test of time. Nor do I believe that it will become a new Christmas classic. But for now, this film will satisfy your holiday cheer needs. Because in all its fun, and even with its mess ups, Last Christmas is pure holiday entertainment.
Directed by: Paul Feig
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, and Emma Thompson