Kate’s life has been a disaster in recent times having been ill and now going off the rails. She works in a Christmas shop and dressed as an elf. One day everything seems to take a good turn, but is it too good to be true?
The balance of comedy, romance and drama is not always easy to accomplish in one film. Last Christmas manages to do this in such the best possible way without being too cheesy around the Christmas theme. With George Michael songs perfectly placed in different scenes and of course the title song.
The story follows Kate showing her early life in former Yugoslavia singing, something that had always been her passion and dream. She ended up in England, London to be exact with her mother, father and sister. Recently she had been avoiding her mother’s calls and messages, we find out she had been ill and she was still very concerned about her daughter.
Working in a Christmas shop in Covent Garden and being in an elf outfit was never supposed to be a full time career. Taken as a Saturday job but her singing/theatre career never managed to get going. Still attending auditions but never actually getting anywhere. When she meets Tom everything is about to change when she teaches him so many life lessons, which can easily be thought about by simply looking up.
The plot does have plenty more going for it than just thinking about Christmas and George Michael songs. It addresses different friendships, family and then the possibility of romance. Kate had been bouncing around from one night stand to one night stand, drinking way to much and generally just struggling to accept her current situation as actually being her life. Her illness and then surgery was harder to deal with than she may have first liked to admit. This sent her off the rails, which I found rather interesting as when someone goes through something like this so life changing we never really think about what it would do to them psychologically.
The placement of different types of not only love but attraction was something that was enjoyable. Santa and “The Dane” was a particular highlight as it was just hilarious the way it was all set up. Along with that Kate just fully felt like a real normal person, which is not often something that can be said for this type of film. You are rooting for her because at times you know you are her.
I really did find myself laughing out loud so many times, it has my type of humour. Something I can always count on in a Paul Feig film. His directing style is something I have always and will always enjoy. The script is very British and something that made me adore the film even more, I can understand some of the links with Love Actually which has become a cult christmas film over time. Linking in helping homeless people as well I thought was a another nice message.
The performances were super impressive especially from Emilia Clarke showing off her comedic acting and timing. Ranging from delivering the different lines to the physical comedy as well, she had it all in this role. I really loved watching her character develop over the course of the film. Amazing chemistry with Henry Golding who has quickly become my favourite having seen him in both Crazy Rich Asians and A Simple Favour. Emma Thompson bringing her usual high level performance in a film that she also co-wrote. The unreal bonus that I had no idea about was Patti LuPone making a small appearance at the start in the shop and I was probably the only excited person in my screening!
I feel a little more gushing would be a good thing as this really does capture so many emotions and allows you to go through them all with and for Kate. Showing that everyone makes mistakes and you can always make up for them and come back from your worst days. I don’t think this was exactly what I was expecting, but do you know what it was so much better than I could have imagined.