'Last Christmas' Invites Us to Look Up

Emilia Clarke

Will you be watching Last Christmas in theaters? At best, this tendency merits a mere eye roll; at worst, the film's laughably oversimplified politics - including lazy gestures at British anti-immigrant sentiment and a sequence involving homeless shelter residents, who are portrayed as hapless beneficiaries cheerily auditioning for a musical - are frustratingly reductive. Thompson, of course, is already an integral part of one Yuletide perennial, "Love Actually", so it's natural to come to "Last Christmas" seeking some of the same spirit. We gradually learn that Kate's personality has taken a turn for the darker since she recovered from a serious illness that we learn about in stages.

The New York Times shares the same thoughts, saying that "the actors look good together... but her character's strenuous perkiness and his character's damp sincerity cancel each other out".

When asked on the show if the film was "anti-Brexit" she said: "Yes definitely". He can't always be there for her.

One day, Kate meets Tom (Golding), a mystery man who comes and goes at his own convenience. It's all wrapped up in a message of doing better, taking care of each other and living this one life we're given to its fullest.

In the beginning Kate pushes back again on Tom's desire, insisting that he's not her variety, and a little creepy.

Is Tom who he says he is?

While it feels only slightly more elevated than your standard TV holiday rom-com fare, with a twist that can be seen coming from a mile away, it's the performances and well-earned character arcs that make "Last Christmas" a satisfying holiday flick worth giving your heart to.

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Still, the film's twist is so unusual and unbelievable that you'll question your own sanity when it's revealed. Though "Last Christmas" is marketed as a romantic comedy, there's little romance to be found; it's hard to buy into Kate and Tom's chemistry when Golding's character reads more as a walking, talking self-help manual than an actual human being.

Clarke's first big post-Game of Thrones move is heavy on inclusivity and morality lessons but loses no sense of humour in the process, dodging preachiness easily.

Now sitting at a 49% Rotten Tomatoes score, the critics reviews share similar feelings - Last Christmas is nothing to write home about, but it's a good mindless festive rom-com.

Not unlike Tom, Henry Golding seemed to come out of nowhere past year, showing up as the lead in "Crazy Rich Asians" as his feature debut. He knows how to make movies that stay with us. Clark was one of the movie's very few bright spots.

Are you into Emilia Clarke or Henry Golding (of Crazy Rich Asians)? It may not satisfy as a romance, but it's got all the Christmas decorations you'll need to see for the season. One particular film, Last Christmas, helmed by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig has all the makings of the ideal sparkly Christmas flick.

Ranking discussed: "Last Christmas" is rated PG-13 for adult themes and predicaments, in addition some vulgarity and profanity. Let everyone know with a comment!

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