#REVIEW: “LAST CHRISTMAS”
Review by Mr. Will Wong
LAST CHRISTMAS aims to taking some tried, tested and true ways at tackling the heartfelt Holiday Rom-Com with a few new angles, but depends perhaps a bit too much on the charm of its stars than the strength of its story.
Kate (Emilia Clarke) just can’t help but keep making bad decisions. Practically homeless, she struggles to maintain her job at a Christmas decoration shop owned by Santa (Michelle Yeoh) and also find a real keeper in a boyfriend. She drinks too much, is a bit reckless and set on landing some form of an acting/singing gig. Things begin to change one day when a handsome stranger enters her life in Tom (Henry Golding), who attempts to set her down a new path with his optimism. While she is dead-set in her own ways it isn’t long before she finds herself seeing life in a new way, and finds herself going home to live with her parents, facing some things head-on in her own life and within her family which have long been unresolved. Her world is turned upside down when she notices that Tom is decreasingly-present and she is forced to face some of her greatest fears alone.
While Comedic Genius Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) tries some new things tonally in his latest effort, something ultimately is missing here. Game of Thrones star Clarke tries her hand at Comedy and on the whole is very likable as the flawed Kate, the heart and soul of the Film. While the story by Greg Wise and star Emma Thompson is very much set on Kate‘s brooding journey of self-discovery, it somehow manages to forget what it is and should be – an uplifting Holiday film. In fact, it doesn’t find itself until far too late. Also, despite its claim of being inspired by the Music of George Michael, Last Christmas winds-up being at best a superficial tribute based on a couple key lyrics from Wham!‘s titular holiday hit.
This is not to say that there isn’t plenty to like about the Film including an enchanting performance by Crazy Rich Asians leading man Golding, who is understated in the captivation of the audience. We only wish that Story better explored what Kate meant to him, rather than vice versa. We mustn’t forget an often hilarious turn from Thompson doing her best overbearing Yugoslavian mother. While the Film appeals to contemporary sensibilities exploring inclusion and discrimination, these somehow get lost in the shuffle of everything.
Last Christmas pulls gently on the heartstrings, and we wish it went all in and give them a real good tug.
Universal Pictures Canada release LAST CHRISTMAS Friday, November 8, 2019.