Published: Mon, November 11, 2019

'Last Christmas' Should Have Been Delightful, But It Is Not

'Last Christmas' Should Have Been Delightful, But It Is Not

Last Christmas is released in cinemas on 15th November. But also - maybe that doesn't matter?

Last Christmas is rated PG-13, and opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, Nov. 8.

Presents are in order, then, for Emma Thompson, whose screenplay for Last Christmas - aided by her husband Greg Wise and co-writer Bryony Kimmings - goes a long way toward making this holiday confection not only presentable but often downright pleasant.

The Game of Thrones actress stars in seasonal romantic comedy Last Christmas alongside Crazy Rich Asians star, Henry Golding.

The actor said good sense of humour and kindness were some of the qualities she was looking for in a man.

At the same time, Kate is having family issues.

Despite the movies twist being spotted from a mile away, there were still high hopes for the film which features some of the biggest names in Hollywood right now.

Not unlike Tom, Henry Golding seemed to come out of nowhere a year ago, showing up as the lead in "Crazy Rich Asians" as his feature debut. 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. Even though "Last Christmas'" closing location answers some of those concerns, it feels like the complete item tends to make a improved argument on paper than on the display screen. Clarke does her level-best to sell Kate's emotional journey, which considering the fact that her journey mostly plays out in the form of multiple slow-motion montages set to George Michael's greatest hits, should be taken as a hearty endorsement of her ability.

There are good intentions all around but hardly any jokes, which makes the movie's treacly third-act reveal of Tom's identity still harder to swallow.

Rolling Stone weren't as gentle with their words calling the film just straight-up bad. Do you get all warm and fuzzy on seeing a holiday-time romance or does that sort of film seem just too "sweetsy" for you? The film broke box-office records as the biggest rom-com in a decade. And when she meets Tom (Golding), Kate is reluctantly inspired to begin putting her life together - even though Tom is always disappearing, only popping up randomly. Numerous other jokes come from Thompson herself, donning a heavy Slavic accent to play Kate's depressed and chronically overbearing mother.

Benjamin Lee of The Guardian says "there's a defiant avoidance of nuance or depth in Thompson's script". This is in contrast to Empire who believe Last Christmas had a "sweet, smart, amusing script" thanks to Thompson and her co-writer Bryony Kimmings. With the LA Times believing that Feig adds "a swift bounciness to the material".

Despite the obvious talents of the stellar cast, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called the pairing of the two "an impossible hurdle", which made all the simple movie moments "feel badly laboured".

Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating effect from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop.

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