Last Christmas, I gave you my heart… - George Michael
Last Christmas finds itself in a peculiar predicament, unsure if it wants to be a Christmas movie, a rom-com film, or a Christmas rom-com hybrid making a political statement.
The film follows Kate, a stagnant female who has decided she would prefer to drink and sleep her way through life than face it head-on. That is until she meets Tom, a charming, good looking guy who shows her that there is more to life, if only she were to “look up.” While the film is set at Christmas time and includes your usual holiday themes, you never truly feel like it is a Christmas movie – hence the dilemma.
The film’s soundtrack proves to be its best component. The title itself stems from a George Michael track, so it should come as no surprise that the entire soundtrack consists of the singer’s hits. Co-writer (and star) Emma Thompson hasn’t shied away about the song’s connection to the film, though many will find themselves a bit confused at what she created from the inspiration: a non-Christmas Christmas film.
Coming off her stint on the recently concluded global juggernaut Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke gets to stretch her acting muscles a bit as funny, charming, and sweet Kate. Supporting work from Crazy, Rich Asians heartthrob Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh give the film an even stronger nucleus that should have resulted in great success. However, even their combined forces can’t save the sluggish story as the characters are painfully underdeveloped and appear, at their core, to be profoundly uninspired.
It is predominately this that prevents the film from being what it should have been. Attempting to deal with too many issues and themes, Last Christmas loses itself within its own jumble, creating a mess of a situation that showcases its lack of direction and purpose. Many joked that the film was likely a big-budgeted Hallmark Channel rip-off. That prediction is somewhat on point. A wasted cast and cliché themes leave you wanting more, even if you do find yourself wiping your eyes as the film comes to its all too predictable close.