Although a bit predictable if you know your George Michael tunes, Last Christmas is a heartwarming romantic comedy-drama starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson. With Emma Thompson contributing to the writing reigns of director Paul Feig’s Christmas romance, this film is bound to warm even the coldest corners of your heart. Yes, even if you hate Christmas.
Emilia Clarke’s character Kate is an aimless, restless young woman who appears to be making all the wrong decisions in her life. After a happy meet-cute with Tom, Henry Golding’s character, Kate’s directional pull changes under Tom’s positive influence and his unique outlook on life.
Kate, despite appearing to be unintentionally insensitive and selfish towards her friends, with a negative somewhat self-destructive mindset, is an extremely likable character and one that audiences will connect with easily. Sometimes when we feel hard done by, it’s hard not to become cynical and sarcastic. Clarke does a wonderful portrayal of Kate, and depending on how many beers she drinks, would be a wonderful drinking buddy within moderation. Despite being a mess, her heart is in the right place, and the film focuses on that centre.
Clarke’s on-screen chemistry with Golding is realistic, endearing and honestly makes you want to see them do more films together. At least, that’s definitely what I want! I thoroughly enjoyed Henry Golding’s portrayal of Tom. While nobody can be perfect, there’s always that one person in your life that is always infectiously positive, kind, charitable and happy, no matter what comes their way. Despite Tom appearing to be ‘perfect’, Golding is perfectly believable in this role, with his acting on-screen seemingly effortless.
While I did enjoy Emma Thompson with her comic timing and dishing out the all-too-familiar unfiltered parental judgement as Kate’s mother Petra, it is Michelle Yeoh that almost stole the show for me as her character Christmas shop keeper ‘Santa’. Providing some heavily blunt but loving advice, Santa is the anchor that Kate needs, who happens to have her own cute budding romance in the works as well.
Although the cast of Last Christmas are all fitting, delightful and talented in their individual roles, the true hero of this film is the city of London itself. The film is practically a love letter to the city, showcasing how decorated and beautiful it is during the Christmas season, which would inspire anyone to want to visit. As someone with a crazy wanderlust, I really appreciate it when films let the location become a character of its own.
George Michael may not believe alive to see this Christmas flick, but I really think he would be proud of the loving tribute that is entwined in this clever (but still predictable) Christmas story. Coming from someone who at a time, used to hate Christmas, I was moved to tears. I loved Last Christmas and believe it will be a film that I will watch every Christmas from here on.