Last Christmas

Last Christmas is a 2019 romantic comedy film directed by Paul Feig and written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, who co-wrote the story with her husband, Greg Wise. Based on the song of the same name, and inspired by the music of George Michael, the film stars Emilia Clarke as a disillusioned Christmas store worker who forms a relationship with a mysterious man (Henry Golding) and begins to fall for him; Thompson and Michelle Yeoh also star.

Katarina “Kate” works a¬†dead-end job¬†as an elf at an all-year Christmas shop in¬†Central London, whose owner calls herself “Santa.” She is homeless after being thrown out by her flatmate. While at work she notices a man outside staring upwards. She talks with him, learning that his name is Tom. After an unsuccessful singing audition, Kate sees Tom again and they go for a walk, where he charms her with his unusual observations of London. Upon isolating herself from her oldest friend, Kate is forced to return to her parents’ home.¬†Croatia¬†immigrants, her mother, Petra, suffers from¬†depression¬†and her father, a former lawyer, works as a minicab driver as he can not afford to retrain to practise law in the United Kingdom. Kate feels suffocated by her mother, who dotes on her while ignoring Kate’s sister, Marta, a successful lawyer.

Kate begins spending more time with Tom, who rides a bike and volunteers at a homeless shelter, which she initially mocks. Looking for Tom, who says he keeps his phone in a cupboard and often disappears for days at a time, she begins helping at the shelter in the hope of running into him but finds that the staff have never met him. While celebrating Marta’s promotion, Kate spitefully¬†outs¬†Marta, a lesbian. She then runs into Tom, who takes her back to his apartment. Kate reveals that a year earlier she was seriously ill and had to have a¬†heart transplant. Kate says she feels half dead and questions whether she has the talent to make it as a performer. After opening up to Tom, Kate tries to initiate sex but he declines. After spending the night with Tom, Kate begins taking small steps to improve her life; taking care of her body, setting up Santa with a Danish man who loves Christmas as much as she does, apologising to Marta and her girlfriend, and singing Christmas songs to busk for money for the shelter. After a few days she runs into Tom again, who says he has something important to tell her, but she preemptively asserts he is fearful of commitment, and walks away.

Kate continues to try to do good in her daily life. Finally, wanting to make amends with Tom, she returns to his apartment only to meet an estate agent who is holding viewings. After some initial confusion about who owns the flat, he reveals that the previous owner was killed in a bicycle accident last Christmas and the place has been vacant during the¬†probate¬†process. Finding his phone in the cupboard, Kate realises that Tom was the organ donor whose heart she received, and that all their interactions were¬†hallucinations. Going to a small garden, which was Tom’s favourite place, Kate encounters him again where he says his heart will always belong to her. The bench on which they sat during their first trip to the garden is revealed to be a memorial bench for Tom.

For Christmas, Kate organises a show utilising the talents of the people at the shelter and inviting all of her friends and family, including the newly coupled Santa and Danish man. Kate delicately performs a solo of the¬†Wham!¬†song “Last Christmas” intertwined with flashbacks of her so-called “encounters” with Tom until revelry ensues when the curtain rises and she is joined by the band of performers. Later, Kate and the family celebrate Christmas together joined by Alba, Marta’s girlfriend, for the first time. The Christmas celebration fades out and a bright light transitions to a summer scene where a visibly healthier Kate is seen writing in her journal in the garden to which Tom introduced her. Smiling and visibly happy, Kate looks up, as Tom always advised.

Nothing really great or funny, as I had hoped, but it is a nice little winter romantic movie. It’s cliched and a bit cheesy ofcourse. I think Golding has a good career ahead of him as a leading man and Emiliam Clarke is moving on from her Game Of Thrones role. 7 outta 10!