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Film Review: Last Christmas (2019)

Last Christmas (2019) is a Christmas movie inspired by the music of the late George Michael and his band, Wham!. Written by Emma Thompson and directed by Paul Feig, this film stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding as the leads. Kate (Clarke) feels desperate for some good luck at Christmas when she is couch hopping and feeling unmotivated at her job at a Christmas store when a mysterious guy called Tom (Golding) appears outside her job and makes a huge impact her life.

Last Christmas (2019) – source: Netflix

The performances here, particularly from the two leads, are incredibly captivating. Whilst these may not be physically demanding jobs, Emilia and Henry do a fantastic job in portraying the quirky traits of their characters. They also sell the idea of them being an adorable and loving couple really well as the chemistry is strong and they play easily off of each other, which is exactly what you need with a story like this one.

Speaking of the story, this one manages to find a good balance between a familiar story that many Christmas film lovers will be used to, whilst also taking a strong diversion from that in terms of its message and themes. The Wham! songs that are incorporated into the film feels surprisingly natural, having fun with the songs rather than just sticking with the original format of the tunes and forcing them in. It adds to the fun tone of the film.

What helps add to this tone and stylisation of the film is the excellent work done on the production and costumes to bring the holiday spirit to life. The Christmas shop that Kate works at is a dream for any Christmas lover, adding a sense of both cheesiness and fun to the world. The costume work for both Kate and Tom are also surprisingly well done for a film like this, which doesn’t need to focus in particular on such aspects like that to be overly enjoyable. This may be a simple little film, but I appreciate the extra work that went into this.

Last Christmas (2019) – source: Netflix

It does take a while to settle into the film, and I cannot say that I found the first section of this film particularly great in any sense. It takes a while for the characters to feel fleshed out and the story to settle into the world set up, but once it gets moving I started really appreciating it. The second half of this film is incredibly strong, bringing both heart and emotion where I did not expect it.

If possible, try and go into this film knowing as little as you can about the actual story. There have been speculations of the plot of this story and the connection of the songs which ended up nearly ruining my first watch of the film due to that knowledge in my head. The story is predictable in where it leads to and the experience is still strong even if you know what is going to happen, but try and go in as blind as you can.

If you are not a typical Christmas film fan, this film may not change your mind about that. There is still a heavy familiar tone to this film that blends with a lot of previous Christmas films in the past few decades. It is overly sentimental and cheesy, with many jokes felling into the same category and spirit as those previous films as well. But, if this makes any difference, I am not usually one of those people who enjoys those sorts of Christmas films that much and I still found myself thoroughly enjoying this film for what it was and how it executed the themes and story it is trying to communicate.

Last Christmas (2019) – source: Netflix

This film does take a while to find its feet and to settle into the themes and tone of the story. This film is one that will have criticism just for the fact that it is a cute little Christmas film, but it will also have its fans. The audience at my screening loved it, and it is hard to walk away from this film not thinking about the cheer and heart it brings. If you are someone that enjoys this type of film, this may just be one of the best made in a long while.


Have you had a chance to see Last Christmas yet? Did you enjoy it or did you find it to be overly cheesy and formulaic? Let me know in the comments section and let’s have a discussion.

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