Sunday 8 December 2019

Last Christmas review: The big third act twist is absolutely bonkers but there's warmth in this screenplay

3 stars

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding in Last Christmas
Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding in Last Christmas

Chris Wasser

Crikey, this is a weird film. A romantic comedy inspired by the ubiquitous Wham! tune Last Christmas is exactly the kind of thing that would usually end up in my worst-of-the-year pile.

So, why didn’t I hate it? The truth is, I love George Michael’s music, and I admire the nerve of a film that takes some of the oddest storytelling turns known to man and has also been described as an ‘anti-Brexit’ flick. No, really.

Emilia Clarke is Kate, a 26-year-old Christmas store elf living in London, but originally from former Yugoslavia. Kate’s life is a mess – she drinks too much, she constantly pushes people away, she never achieved her dream of becoming a professional singer, and she almost died of an illness last Christmas.

But fear not, because here comes a handsome, enigmatic stranger named Tom (Henry Golding), who always happens to be in the right place at the right time, and may just help Kate sort her life out.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

Listen, the jokes are second-rate, the central premise (a comedy based on George Michael songs) never takes off, and the big third-act twist (yes, there is a twist) is absolutely bonkers.

But there’s warmth in Emma Thompson’s screenplay, vibrancy in Paul Feig’s direction and an undeniable chemistry between Clarke and Golding.

It’s a fascinating mishap of a display, but one that held my attention in ways that better films haven’t this year. In a word? Grand.

Herald

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top