Last Christmas (12A, 103 Minutes)
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart…”
But I didn’t, because that’s super weird and I’m sure it would leave an annoying but fading stain on the carpet. Talking of fading stains, Paul Feig’s latest rom com from writers Emma Thompson (the Godmother of acting) and Bryony Kimmings (making her screenwriting debut) puts us in a speeding sleigh hurtling towards Christmas.
Problem is, the brakes have packed in.
But I didn’t, because that’s super weird and I’m sure it would leave an annoying stain on the carpet.
Talking of fading stains, Paul Feig’s latest rom com from writers Emma Thompson (the Godmother of acting) and Bryony Kimmings (making her screenwriting debut) puts us in a speeding sleigh hurtling towards Christmas. The problem is, the brakes have packed in.
Singer Kate (Emilia Clarke) channels Scrooge after suffering from a horrendous heart condition all the while watching her life crumble around her. A year on from a transplant, Kate is miserable and scornful of the festivities around her whilst being constantly smothered by her hypochondriac mother, Petra (Emma Thompson). But when Kate meets the mysterious Tom (Henry Golding), she is taught the importance of life, love and human kindness.
Make no mistake, Last Christmas has a fundamentally positive core, and the lessons it intends to teach are colourful and vitally imperative to our human values. Emilia Clarke delivers a performance with heart and meaning, especially given her horrific experiences with family loss and a serious health scare in 2011, which she barely survived. The Mother of Dragons has an undeniably brilliant screen presence and is a true delight.
Clarke’s on-screen chemistry with Thompson is a highlight, and incredibly funny in places. An Eastern European lullaby from Mother to daughter, as Clarke hides under her duvet covers is particularly great.
Henry Golding is, as many of the archetypal heartthrobs are, very dry in his ability. If anything, he’s a significant annoyance. A huge issue considering his importance to the plot.
Sure, there are moments of wit. There are times when you chuckle. They’ve even thrown in a couple of guest appearances from the brilliant Rob Delaney (of ‘Catastrophe’ fame) and Patti (sing your heart out) LuPone, but it’s not enough to save what has been intended as a heart-warming, festive treat from becoming a pointless flop.
Worst of all is the climactic twist waiting on the other end of this 103 minutes. A twist so predictable, so redundant and so nauseatingly weak that it provoked a very loud f-word from several members of the audience. Not a great sign.
Considering the film’s title relates to the Christmas hit by Wham, I fail to see its relevance in this story except for that one signature line. Truly feel the film would benefit a lot more without it.
But say what you want about the film, the cast have clearly had an absolute ball making it. Away from the general stab of criticism, it’s nice to sit back and see the genuine laughter and good will that’s been instrumental in its creation.