Last Christmas film review: Yes, it is Last Christmess… but it’s not the Xmas turkey that everyone has said – The Sun
OKAY, let’s get it out of the way – this is nowhere near as bad as others would have you believe.
Yes, it’s a clunky, badly written, plot-hole-ridden, over-desperate bodge, but underneath it all, this is a film with a big ol’ Christmasy heart.
Emilia Clarke is Kate, a Bridget Jones hot-mess type who works at an all-year-round Christmas stall in Covent Garden. Following a much hinted at illness, she is struggling to find purpose in her boozy, one-night-stand existence.
A fractious relationship with her family (they are immigrants from former Yugoslavia, arriving when Kate was ten) and a complete lack of forward planning means she is virtually homeless, bouncing from sofa to sofa and burning bridges until the mysterious Tom (Henry Golding) arrives.
His calming presence helps her navigate through this life, but is he all he seems?
Let’s start with the bad news. Generally, the film just feels completely out of touch.
The use of George Michael’s music is very welcome, but executed badly. It focuses on a small and odd selection (how many 26-year-olds can sing Heal The Pain off by heart in 2019?) and they’re placed at such pivotal moments they’re nothing more than cynical, emotional touchpaper.
If the music feels bolted-on though, it’s nothing compared to the list of issues Emma Thompson (who wrote this as well as co-starring) has felt compelled to tick off over its duration.
There’s Brexit, xenophobia, ableism, mental health, outing, immigration, homelessness.
It’s endless and none are given any space to be explored enough.
This is a problem with the dialogue. It’s so damned smug — every line is written in a way in which not a single human has ever spoken. It makes Richard Curtis sound like Ken Loach.
Director Paul Feig doesn’t get off scott free either.
For a man who built his career on the incredible Bridesmaids and even with last year’s A Simple Favour, what’s missing here is any form of sass and bite. It’s all painfully polite.
The less said about the twist and the gaping plot holes it unearths the better. Anyone with two brain cells will suss it in a second — and to those people I simply ask “The flat! The phone! How?”
I’m aware the above makes it sound as though I hated it — but I actually came out smiling. Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke is pretty adorable as Kate, and with better lines would have been great.
Michelle Yeoh is terrific as Santa, Kate’s boss, and there are some genuine snot-bubble laugh-out-loud moments.
While it doesn’t feel particularly Christmassy, I still felt better walking out of the cinema than I did going in.
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