‘Last Christmas’ is the first stop for a holiday movie

Jonathan Prime/Universal Pictures via AP
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Emilia Clarke, left, and Henry Golding in a scene from "Last Christmas."

Movie review

By Kaylee Brewster

Two-and-a-half out of four

“Last Christmas” is a movie with heart that, despite following predictable Christmas movie rom-com tropes, is funny and sweet enough to be something special.

It  follows the story of Kate (Emilia Clark) and her relationship with the mysterious Tom (Henry Golding), who helps her see life from a different perspective. All that and more is set to the music of George Michael.

Kate gets some funny one-liners as she walks through life managing her smothering mother (Emma Thompson) and no-nonsense boss, Santa, (Michelle Yeoh) at the Christmas store where Kate works. Then she keeps getting weirded out by Tom, who magically seems to show up and take her on adventures throughout the city.

Clark’s comedic delivery and chemistry with the rest of the cast shine. Clark and Thompson’s scenes always manage to get a laugh. Santa’s demeaning tone when talking about Kate’s work ethic, or lack thereof, is dripping with humorous insults. Kate is always making fun of Tom for his oddities, and he shrugs them off in a charming way that makes everyone in the audience fall in love.

Then a switch is flipped and laughter is put on pause while the characters face real life. Kate is dealing with the trauma of a recent illness. Her mother has anxiety issues to work through, and Kate’s entire family is need of relational help. Santa is growing increasingly tired of Kate not putting enough effort into her job.

Kate lays all worries on Tom’s shoulders, and he kindly takes the burden and helps her through. Clark shows the audience Kate’s honest emotions that she hides from everyone else.

Then another switch flips and we see Kate begin to improve. She works harder at her job. She helps the homeless. She starts singing again. Everything is going to be fine.

Yes, “Last Christmas” is entirely predictable from start to finish. Yes, it packs in a few social justice issues for good measure. Yes, it ends with all the plot points tied up with a nice ribbon.

However, most audiences won’t care. They know what they’re signing up for.

What you end up with is an entertaining, charming and delightful Christmas movie that will make you see the world anew, put a smile on your face and get the song “Last Christmas” stuck in your head until January.


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