By Sean Scullion
Last Christmas 12A
Dir: Paul Feig
Writers: Emma Thompson, Bryony Kimmings
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Henry Goulding, Michelle Yeow, Emma Thompson
Run Time: 1h 43mins
Release Date: Out Now
As much as I love the Christmas season there is always movies released in November and December that cash in on the season. Always bland and always bad its rare a good Christmas film comes out that can be agreed upon for being a good Christmas film. When the trailer for Last Christmas hit the internet somewhere in the middle of 2019, I got this gut feeling that it would join the ranks of all those Christmas films that come and go and when this trailer hit, I also had a prediction that would play out in the film. Considering that the film is based on the iconic song of the same name by the legendary George Michael (the soundtrack also featuring his songs being a big selling point) you could begin to suss out what the plot is. Because of this and the trailer looking not particular great I was dreading seeing Last Christmas but while a few things surprised me the film is still greatly hindered.
Last Christmas follows Kate (Clarke) a cynical Christmas store worker who upon meeting a charismatic stranger (Golding) begins to fall for him, the plot is a very by the number’s affair bogged down by clichés and a bland script. It’s a shame because there is some serious talent in this film, Clarke and Golding were great and shockingly good chemistry. They worked well with what they were given but don’t come close to Michelle Yeow who plays Kate’s boss “Santa”. Yeow steals every scene she is in, not only did she get the biggest laughs from me but her arc I found to be more engaging than the main plot, every time she appears on screen, I lit up like a Christmas tree.
As for the rest of the film it really fell flat especially in script department, the comedy was 50/50 not helped by some bland lines and half-baked plots that go nowhere. The film brings up Brexit which is mentioned in two scenes and is swiftly forgotten about along with characters that just come and go adding nothing new to the story, along with Emma Thompson as Kate’s mother who plays the role as this Yugoslavian stereotype that was very distracting. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) does what he can but his direction was serviceable at best and not as interesting as his previous outing A Simple Favour which was a silly blast, he didn’t do anything amazing except maybe have the actors improve a little (which can be woefully disastrous).
Two aspects that annoyed me in Last Christmas were the garbage editing in which there is a scene were Goulding and Clarke are talking to each other and for some reason it felt very natural almost like it was robots speaking to one another and the other aspect being a third act twist. Won’t ruin it here but let’s just say it was very predictable. If you are looking for some light entertainment, then Last Christmas is your thing, but I wouldn’t walk in expecting anything special.
A predictable and safe comedy that audiences will like. Clarke and Goulding do solid work but not enough to save this one.
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