HOLLYWOOD─I am not the biggest fan of romantic comedies because they all seem to tell the same tale. Woman falls for prince charming, but unforeseen circumstances prevent the two from getting together, and at the end the two actually get together and live happily ever-after. Every so often we come across those movies that have so much heart and just make you feel joyous when you might be having one of the toughest days, weeks or months that you can imagine.
Cue “Last Christmas,” a romantic comedy starring “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke and “Crazy Rich Asians” standout Henry Goulding. Clarke stars as Kate, who is seriously down on her luck. She works as a Christmas elf at a job she hates, and she is currently homeless after being kicked out by her roommate. Kate is really identifiable for most Americans at least for me. It paints a picture of family and struggles that we all encounter, but we sometimes keep quiet.
Having to compete with that sibling who everyone adores or is seen as being incapable of doing anything wrong; constantly being scolded by parents who want you to strive for more, even though you feel you’ve done the best you can or you’re happy with the career success you have attained. Kate is constantly beat up on, but she sees a glimmer of hope in Tom (Goulding). She is attracted to him, but concerned he may not be who she hopes him to be.
Kate wants to be a singer, and has the chops to do it, but she continues to doubt her abilities, but Tom attempts to encourage her. “Last Christmas” is not slacking in the acting arena; we have Oscar-winner Emma Thompson, who portrays Kate’s depressed, yet overbearing mother. Who knew Thompson was such a hoot as a comic. She brings exceptional comic relief to the movie at the perfect time. Also Thompson played a vital role in crafting the script for this flick as well, that is unique, clever and just heart-warming.
“Last Christmas” has an unexpected twist that totally blew me away and I will not give it to the audience because you will be so enamored and enchanted with this narrative most people will miss it, but those clever ones can peg what has transpired. I’m not calling the twist ingenious, but it’s a ripple in the narrative that I did not expect, which really heightened my enjoyment of the movie where things are not always as they seem. It doesn’t hurt that the movie also has supporting roles by actresses Michelle Yeoh, and the great Patti LuPone.
There is so much laughter, heart and fun to “Last Christmas” I don’t know what to say beyond, I expected one thing, but as I exited the theater I was surprised by what was delivered to me. This is a movie that I can absolutely see becoming a Christmas classic in due time.