This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser
LAST CHRISTMAS – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 42 mins.
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, A Simple Favor, Ghostbusters)
WRITERS: Emma Thompson, Greg Wise and Byrony Kimmings
STARRING: Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh and Lydia Leonard
Kleenex in your pocket? Check. Ready to catch the first Christmas film of the year? Check. Now get ready to settle into that comfy reclining seat as we meet Kate (Emilia Clarke), basking in a life of making all the wrong choices, especially for a 20-something that not long ago, was very, very ill. But, as they say, when you’re young, you think you have all the time in the world
So, as Kate tries to get our act together, bouncing from one friends home to another and trying to keep her job as one of Santa’s (Michelle Yeoh) elves ~ yep you heard that right ~ Kate is intrigued when she meets the dashingly handsome Tom (Henry Golding), who seems to have a arrived out of nowhere, and who has stolen Kate’s heart in an instant…
Now it seems, the hard-partying life is going to have to go, as Tom presence in her life brings out the best in her, forcing her to evaluate her life, and the many ill-thought-out choices she sadly continues to make.
With her life changing all around her, only this time, in a good way, Kate is forced to face a lot of things she really hasn’t wanted to, including the fact that Tom, and his disappearing act is getting way frustrating…but what’s a girl to do, once she finds the right path for her life, and the guy who has stolen her heart too…
I give LAST CHRISTMAS a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD: Enchanting throughout, but a little lengthy and draw out in places too, LAST CHRISTMAS is one of those heartfelt movies that each Holiday season needs to be complete! Golding is “just what the doctor ordered”, as what women wouldn’t be smitten by those dreamy eyes, and his charismatic persona. Clarke is really good too playing Kate, who is less concerned with her responsibilities, or her family for that matter, than she is living each day as if it was her last..and believe me when I tell you too, there is not a hint of Daenerys Targaryen within this performance! Plus, Writer and Actress Emma Thompson is enjoyable to view too, playing Kate’s rather peculiar mother, wanting only what’s best for her daughter, even though her methods are quite annoying, making Kate and her Sister Marta (Lydia Leonard), almost lose their minds. And as soundtracks go, this one is exceptional too, as this beautiful storyline unfolds amidst all your favorite George Michael tunes the whole way through too! So, with all these accolades abounding throughout, why can’t I give LAST CHRISTMAS just a MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN? Sadly, there are a few reasons that kept me from singing from the roof-tops that LAST CHRISTMAS is a must see. First and foremost, even though it’s only 102 minutes, there were many scenes throughout this film that could have been edited down, so that we could just get to the point. I know, I know, who wants a movie that’s full of love and good cheer to speed along, but it just felt like it really needed to step up its pace it quite a few places. And I also felt like some of the humor throughout was a little forced, even though I chuckled with my fellow movie viewers a few times, I just hoped at some point this film would send me into some genuine holiday cheer, but it just never managed to get me there. But, we have to mention too, what’s a good Christmas movie, without needing a few tissues, and I’m happy to report that you will definitely need a few Kleenexes along the way, as when the eventual plot twist finally arrives, you will need those “devastation paper products” to help you get through.
So, suffice to say, if you love heartwarming Christmas films, with wonderful storylines, and performances throughout too, then by all means, please head to a theater near you this weekend to catch LAST CHRISTMAS, but just remember, I warned you that you might want to check your watch a time or two throughout as well, before it manages to finally get to the good stuff…