Last Christmas - 2019
Updated: Apr 26
Just want to start with a shout out to HENRY GOLDING, that's #henrygolding, of Crazy Rich Asians fame, who says the word, "inconceivable" in this film. We know that you were definitely giving us a free plug, and we appreciate it.
Last Christmas is an enjoyable film to watch. There, I've said it. I'm not ashamed of it. Even though it seems to be undergoing an absolute smashing by every other critic out there, I liked it. The first reason why I liked it, is because I like Christmas, and this film is a visual smorgasbord of colourful, Christmas fun. If you like Christmas carols, Christmas decorations, Christmas gibbons (yes gibbons, not ribbons) or other Christmas-related paraphernalia, this film will put a smile on your face at one point or another, because you cannot escape the Christmas vibes. Additionally, it's a comedy, with some laugh out loud jokes and visual gags.
When I walked into this film, I was expecting a run of the mill romantic comedy. However, this movie offers more than a typical romance. Kate (Emilia Clarke) is on an emotional journey throughout Last Christmas and undergoes some major character development. This film is more about her learning to love herself and become a better human being, than it is about her falling in love with Tom (Henry Golding). Furthermore, there are some nice performances by supporting cast members, who don't just exist to fill out the plot of a standard rom-com. Kate's family are complicated, in the way that any family might be, and this adds an element of realism to this comedy, helping the audience to emotionally invest and empathise with Kate (or her parents, or her sister - there is honestly something for everyone).
Last Christmas also plays with tension well. Directly following any moment of realism - moments that make us cry or empathise or relate - we get a joke. They are well-timed and they are well-delivered. Clarke really establishes herself as a comedic actress in this film and honestly, it's nice to see her playing...not the Mother of Dragons.
Let's talk about the twist, without talking about the twist. Some naysayers will say that the twist is implausible. But is the twist in this film any more implausible than George Bailey meeting a guardian angel named, Clarence, after having suicidal thoughts? I don't think so. And It's a Wonderful Life is considered a classic in terms of the Christmas genre. It's been over 70 years since that film was released and it is still shown in cinemas each and every year to avid fans. Maybe this one will stand the test of time, too...look probably not, but I still argue that it's worth a watch.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed Last Christmas. I think it has everything that a good Christmas film should have. It brought tears, it brought laughter, it brought a somewhat predictable twist, (but this is something I can forgive). To quote an Australian classic, "this is goin' straight to the pool room," ...or rather, my DVD shelf, as soon as it's released.