‘Tis the season to be jolly, but unfortunately Emma Thompson’s rom-com ‘Last Christmas’ starring Emilia Clarke of ‘Game Of Thrones’ and Henry Golding of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ doesn't quite deliver the anticipated laughs.
Kate (Clarke) is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Her last date with disaster? That of having accepted work as Santa's elf for a department store. However, she meets Tom (Golding) there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.
My hopes for a new Christmas movie in the same league as ‘Love Actually’ proved too good to be true, with the majority of the one-liners and gags falling flat. The exception to this was Emma Thompson’s portrayal of Kate’s uptight Yugoslavian mum, Petra, and Michelle Yeoh as the take-no-prisoners Christmas shop owner, Santa.
As cute as Clarke is, I struggled to warm to her character, and I just couldn’t feel the spark between Kate and Tom. Instead, for me, the touching, poignant moments of the film were those between Kate’s dysfunctional family members, and Kate’s interactions with the homeless, who provided the funniest moments in the film.
A major drawcard of the movie is that the soundtrack features the music of George Michael and Wham! exclusively, and the tracks were employed masterfully. ‘Praying For Time’ appeared twice, complementing both joyous and heartbreaking scenes, and ‘One More Try’ provided the perfect backdrop to a turning point for Kate in a bar scene.
It was of course, however, Wham!’s all-time yuletide hit ‘Last Christmas’ which provided the background to the feel-good closing scene, during which I let out an excited squeal when I spotted the other half of Wham! in the crowd.
While ‘Last Christmas’ didn’t ignite my Christmas spirit as I had hoped, it did deliver a twist that I nor my companion saw coming. For that alone, ‘Last Christmas’ is worth a re-watch.