Last Christmas

Kate (Emilia Clarke) doesn’t always make the best choices. She works as an elf in a year-round Christmas store. She doesn’t talk to her family. Rather than live in her own place, she crashes in the homes of her friends. Due to her selfishness and poor choices, every one of her friends kick her out of their homes. That’s when Tom (Henry Golding) wanders into her life.

Tom is pretty much the opposite of Kate in every way. He pays attention to small details around the city most people wouldn’t notice. He spends time just sitting in the park listening to his neighbors. He volunteers at a homeless shelter. As Kate and Tom spend more time together, Kate starts to change. Even when Tom disappears for days without any notice, Kate finds herself slowly starting to follow in Tom’s footsteps. Tom really could be the right person for Kate, helping her become a better person.

While Last Christmas certainly follows some of the typical holiday romcom patterns, it tells a different story than most.

Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding have pretty good chemistry on screen. Her self-absorbed Kate is balanced out nicely by his aloof, philanthropic Tom. They share a fair amount of funny moments alongside some truly genuine ones. The film also stars Michelle Yeoh as Kate’s boss, Santa and Emma Thompson – who helped write the story – as Kate’s mom Petra. The supporting cast all do well to make for a well rounded ensemble.

While the story revolves around Kate and Tom’s growing relationship, the story is really about George Michael’s music. As you would expect, given the title, “Last Christmas” gets played more than a couple times throughout the film. So much so that it should be listed just under Clarke and Golding in the credits. It is more than just the one song, though. There is a pretty wide selection of songs from Michael and Wham! making for a great soundtrack.

Seriously, though, the story is pretty balanced. As I mentioned, you bounce between moments of comedy, romance, and some touching moments that may make you tear up a bit. It wouldn’t be a Christmas movie if it didn’t. It doesn’t hurt that you watch as London transforms into its Christmas spirit.

Last Christmas is not a perfect movie. But it isn’t trying to be one. It is a charming, fun walk through London at Christmas. It will make you laugh, cry, and just feel good in general. If you are a fan of Hallmark Christmas movies or George Michael, you will no doubt enjoy this movie.

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