Last Christmas is the type of movie that can only be enjoyed at Christmas. Directed by Paul Feig, it stars the plucky Emilia Clarke as Catarina, an aspiring singer with a twee job (literally at a Christmas store). As the film starts, Catarina is a mess (but obviously a hot mess, because everyone in this confection is super attractive). After undergoing a heart transplant the year before, she’s experiencing something of an existential crisis. When we meet her, Catarina’s been kicked out of her apartment for electrocuting her flatmate’s fish. When she’s not killing pets, Cat’s out drinking every night before going home with creepy strangers who may or may not be married. What can save her from herself? Well, if you’ve ever watched a romantic comedy, you already know the answer is love.
In no time, Catarina meets Tom (Henry Golding), a dapper and impossibly handsome man who volunteers at a homeless shelter. In addition to being a cute humanitarian, Tom’s also a smug mansplainer who hates cellphones and thinks Tinder is weird; however, Tom’s so sexy you can overlook his more obnoxious tendencies. Soon, the love birds are breaking into skating rinks and running through London’s most picturesque alleyways. It’s not hard to root for these two pretty young things to hook up!
Admittedly, Last Christmas is pretty sloppy. The script makes a clumsy attempt to integrate modern British politics by tackling the xenophobia that motivated Brexit. It also boasts the distinction of being the only film ever to make the great Emma Thompson appear less than stellar – Thompson’s cartoonish portrayal of an Eastern European refugee is straight up uncomfortable to watch! However, despite its laziness, the movie gets by on whimsy. After all, what could be more soothing than the sight of London all dolled up for the holidays? Like The Holiday before it, Last Christmas is a great option for scratching that festive RomCom itch!
Ultimately, Last Christmas is the cinematic equivalent to a glass of mulled wine, a delightful British confection that tastes good, even if it’s full of empty calories. If you’re already in the Christmas spirit, you’ll probably get into this movie. Just don’t wait until January to watch it! This one is definitely a seasonal treat…