LAST CHRISTMAS (2019)
Christmas season set romantic comedy finds pretty Kate (Emilia Clarke) down on her luck and unable to keep a roof over her head, because of constantly pissing-off those she roommates with. She’s had a traumatic, life-threatening illness, has not been herself since and is alienating her family and friends. Even her stern, Christmas loving boss (Michelle Yeoh) is losing patience with the wannabe singer turned Christmas store elf. One night things start to change, however, as Kate meets the mysterious and charismatic Tom (Henry Golding), who inspires Kate to overcome her emotional troubles and be herself again.
Holiday flick is directed by Paul Feig (Ghostbusters 2016) from a script and story by co-star Emma Thompson, Greg Wise and Bryony Kimmings. As such, it is a mixed bag. Even though we are supposed to be on Kate’s side, she is somewhat annoying at first and it’s hard to sympathize with her when she is being a bit of a selfish a-hole. The romantic aspects are very cliché, though thanks to a charming cast they still work very well. That cast elevates this above the mediocre holiday rom com it is, with Clarke and Golding having really nice chemistry together. Clarke especially wins us over once Kate starts to change her ways and goes from annoying to adorable in the last act and Golding proves to be a charismatic leading man. A fantastic Michelle Yeoh steals every scene she is in, and Dame Emma Thompson is amusing as Kate’s Yugoslavian mother. The London setting is equally charming, and the film does have a surprising reveal, about two thirds through, that you may not see coming. Overall, it’s entertaining enough, wins you over by its last act and made far better than it’s routine script by a solid cast and some good old-fashioned charm…though, you might be a little tired of that Wham! song by its end.