Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day…. Well we all know how that one ends.
Kate’s (Emilia Clarke) life is in a perpetual state of falling apart. At twenty-six her part time job as an elf at a year round Christmas store has turned full time, she can’t keep a couch to surf on, and her phone is constantly buzzing from her mothers calls – which she avoids like the plague.
Allowances are made for Kate because she nearly died, but she’s currently skating on thin ice with the few people left who still care about her.
When Kate meets the elusive Tom (Henry Golding) who skids into her life one day on his bike, he is just the right person to teach a directionless Kate that just because you have a life doesn’t mean you’re living and just because you have the organ, it doesn’t always mean you have a heart.
Kate as a character was really enjoyable. She was modelled after a British woman in her mid twenties that we all know. Careless, loveable, scatty, unreliable, well-intentioned, selfish, but someone you can’t help but try to take care of – we all have/know a Kate.
Even though to a certain extent you see where the movie is going – when it comes, it still hits you like a tonne of bricks. The pacing and storytelling held up enough to allow you to buy into the writers intentions, and I really appreciated that such a strong story arch went into a ‘Christmas Movie’ amongst all the cheesiness.
Despite the title, this movie wasn’t overly laced in tinsel and fairy lights which will be good for those that aren’t into the over top Christmas movies, but still want a little bit of that cheer. It made for a good gateway movie into all things festive.
Cast wise I enjoyed the dynamic between Kate and Tom, it was almost childlike, full of discovery, wonder and unselfish friendship. Aside from the main two, I also really loved the scenes between Kate and her boss ‘Santa’ (Michelle Yeoh), which were some I looked forward to the most as I watched the film.
Based in part on the popular Christmas song by George Michael – “Last Christmas”, protagonist Kate mentions quite early on in the movie, in a way that feels pretty darn poignant, that her and George are kindred spirits. Though his songs are played throughout and we can assume that’s who Kate is listening too whenever she is plugged into her headphones…. the whole parallel never comes up again. They really built that one up just to leave it abandoned to one side.
I happen to be a person of logic – I can’t turn it off even when I’m watching something where logic is pretty much laughed out of the room. Without giving anything in the movie away – how did that make any sense? How did they get in there? Know where to go? Get the idea? Someone explain these things to me please – even though I suppose in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter at all.
As an obviously marketed holiday movie a lot of these flaws in this film are easily overlooked, and in all honesty aren’t being held against it as a whole because of that, but they’re still worth pointing out nevertheless.
A Christmas classic to me is a movie that gets better every year, making it effectively timeless. It may be too soon to tell (by approximately a year) but Last Christmas is a bittersweet movie a tad on the melancholy side that cut through the sweetness of a lot the ‘feel good’ films that you’ll watch at this time of the year. And for that reason, as well as the story and the fact that it was actually set in the UK, this one is worth the watch… and potentially a re-watch – but check back with me Christmas 2020.