Last Christmas (2019) Review [Dir. Paul Feig]

In the midst of job applications (and rejections), and adjusting to everything that comes with being a responsible, mature adult (or trying to be), it’s only right I squeezed in a Christmas film.

I’m not one to get excited about Christmas, probably because I spend the time I should be getting excited thinking where has the year gone, but one thing I do love (though I prefer watching closer to the time, being the Scrooge that I am) is a Christmas film. Last Christmas definitely was a Christmassy film…with a twist.

The film centres on Kate. She’s made several bad decisions in her life but, when she meets Tom, things begin to change.

I like that Christmas films that aren’t all about Christmas exist. Despite Kate’s career choice (she’s an elf at a Christmas shop), and the film being set around the Christmas period, the film is more focused on the people in it: their lives, loves and problems. I like that there was an element of realness to the film, it felt like I could easily walk down the street alongside any of these characters.

I also liked the fact that, like a lot of films this year (Blinded by the Light and Yesterday come to mind), this film has an artist at its centre. Emma Thompson, who also stars in the film, co-wrote the film with the music of George Michael in mind. Since his death, the film becomes bittersweet and it’s sort of a celebration of Christmas and Kate’s journey as well as the artist and person George Michael was.

There was a brilliant cast, too. (Emilia Clarke could probably play a bin bag and I’d still think it was an amazing performance) sometimes it’s difficult to get into a film if you hate the lead characters. Despite their obvious flaws, I liked Kate and Tom (played by Henry Golding, who is very nice to look at I have to say!). I also think Emma Thompson was brilliant as Kate’s Mum (not only because she’s funny but also for her sensitive portrayal of an immigrant who becomes increasingly worried about her position in Britain in the midst of Brexit) and Michelle Yeoh’s Santa added a much needed dose of comedy.

The only thing I didn’t like about the film was the predictability. I’m never usually good at predicting how films will go (unless I get lucky or I’ve read the book) but – thanks to an internet trawl and letting my mind wander – I had more or less confirmed the direction the film was going before it happened. When it happened, and the realisation hit, it was a rare moment where I wasn’t happy to be right!

Despite the fact it was predictable, and the characters were a little bit annoying, Last Christmas is a heartwarming watch. Whilst it does focus on December 25th (which I realise is hurtling ever closer!), it also focuses on listening to your heart and what happens when you have a little faith.

Last Christmas is in cinemas now

Image © Universal Pictures

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