It seems like a long time since Hollywood released and honest to goodness Romcom. Last Christmas’s trailers promise this very movie type starring the Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke, and the lead to Crazy, Rich Asians, Henry Golding. In fact the trailers and commercials promise love and Christmas and medical drama to make our Harlequin hearts flutter and swoon. Just one issue – This isn’t a Romcom! It’s so much more…
Last Christmas – What Is It?
If it’s not a Romcom then what is it? Last christmas emulates Romcoms the way Zombieland emulates zombie movies. In the loosest sense, both movies belong in their respective categories, yet both trancend the genre and become so much more. They are both character pieces.
So what is Last Christmas exactly? I can’t tell you. Earlier this week Emilia Clarke lamented on why people must blab spoilers and ruin movies instead of just going and watching them. At the time my thought was, how do you spoil a frakking romcom? Apparently, when done correctly. There is so much to this movie (and of course they are the best parts) that i would love to praise and glorify and talk about, but I can’t. It would spoil the awesomeness that is Last Christmas.
In fact those wondering why certain scenes were in the commercials because they wreaked of spoilers, the commercials spoiled nothing!
Last Christmas Review: The Cast Shines Like the Christmas Star
The cast in Last Christmas delivers spot on performances that are absolutely perfect. In many ways drop the Rom half of the genre and just call this a comedy. Too many times, the funniest parts of the movies are seen in the commercials and there is little else. Not so here. Every member of the cast delivers hilarious and moving performances , some with next to no camera time.
Emilia and her movies fell short of fan hopes, but here she shines as the adorable, hilarious and, quick-witted/quick-tongued protagonist. When she cracks her sardonic humor it hits. When her scenes require feeling or tears, she delivers. The Mother of Dragons found her new home. Also, for the first time in any performance, Emilia has facial expressions!
Anyone who watches Emilia recognizes when she acts, especially serious roles, her face expresses emotions, yet her eyebrows and forehead do NOT move. Then she does interviews where she can be herself and her eyebrows are more expressive than Mr Spock’s! She finally gets to let go for this role.
Last Christmas Co-Stars Shine Just As Bright
Of course co-star Henry Golding nails his suave, mysterious boy toy. From an early stand point viewers will know something is happening off cameras, but that runs par for the course.
Thankfully the chemistry betwen the lead characters flows well and draws you in, but in actuality every single supporting cast member delivers hilarious and moving performances. Emma Thompson kill sit as the eccentric Yugoslavian mother. Lydia Leonard brings quality to her small role as Kate’s sister.
I watched Michelle Yeoh kick ass and take names in Star Trek: Discovery, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragons and stare down anyone within distance in Crazy, Rich Asians. Here, she exudes humor effortlessly throughout the movie as Santa, the shop keeper. Every time she opens her mouth it leaves you in stitches. Then in the few scenes needed, she switches to caring and feeling mother figure. Even Ingrid Oliver, who appears for only a few minutes in a couple of scenes through out the movie, kills it.
Dust Off Your George Michael Cassettes
An interesting twist with this movie we can discuss belongs to the music layout. This movie from beginning to end features George Micheal songs. Director Paul Feig, does a wonderful job blending in a multitude of songs. Each and everyone fits the scene and enhances it perfectly. In fact the scenes they are featured in will bring new meaning to a great many of them. While I am not a George Micheal fan, this movie made me want to go back and listen to several of his classics. It was a unique idea that pays off big in the end.
Last Christmas Carries a Message
This last part becomes difficult to talk about without giving away spoilers, but it needs to be mentioned. We know from the beginning Kate suffers from issues. They spell themselves out as the movie progresses, but about half way through the movie, it takes a slight course shift.
It introduces a message that it carries through out the rest of the movie. It may seem small, but it is a magnificent message that truly hit home for me and I think will for others as well. It is a powerful message that not only goes through the movie, but reaches into real life as well. It truly is a powerful teaching.
I went into Last Christmas hoping to see an entertaining Romcom. I walked out truly moved and entertained. This movie exceeded my every expectation in ways I could not imagine it would before seeing it.
The hard thing with this movie is grading it. There are movies that are great even though i did not like it. Some I love way more than they are actually worth. This movie goes with the latter. This movie does not belong with the all time greats and classics that transcend the ages, but it did what it wanted to and exceeded the genre in ways i could not have guessed. If there is a way to improve this movie, i cannot see it.