Just in time for the holidays, Last Christmas from director Paul Feig (that 2016 Ghostbusters reboot) provides a heartwarming story about a young woman named Kate (Emilia Clarke, the mother of -dragons herself) and her attempts to get her life together.
Kate spends her days working as an elf for "Santa" (Michelle Yeoh) in a year-round Christmas store and her nights either couch-surfing or auditioning for any acting or singing gigs she can find. Kate struggles to maintain an already strained relationship with her Yugoslavian immigrant family and any number of friendships, but after a life-saving heart transplant, she transforms from a bumbling but caring dork into a cold shell of a woman—and we haven't even gotten to the the shoehorned romantic interest Tom (Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding) and the big twist ending!
The twist does manage to be surprising, but the remainder of the film, particularly Clarke and Golding's chemistry, falls flat. Feig's -vision becomes a good-enough movie for families to watch together, and there's some kind of -pseudo-valuable message about how we need to love ourselves before we can love others, but most of the cast's heavy hitters—like Patty Lupone and Emma Thompson (who also wrote the script)—aren't used effectively.
Still, holiday movies are going to come out every year, and Last Christmas is at least a little better than typical Hallmark schlock. You'll get the feels, you'll get the unpredictable conclusion—but Jesus, pump the breaks on the George Michael music!
+Great twist ending
-Too much Wham!
Directed by Feig
With Clarke, Golding, Yeoh, Lupone and Thompson
Regal (both locations), Violet Crown, PG-13, 103 min.